Just Trust - Jeannette Winters

Chapter One

“I can’t believe you’re not going to charge him with reckless driving. My poor Sammy is…is dead! It’s…his fault,” Mrs. Grossman sobbed and pointed to Kyle, who looked extremely nervous.

Reanna Long gently patted the woman on the back. Mrs. Grossman called the station at least once a week for the oddest things. Everyone knew it was because she was ninety years old, lonely, and just wanted the company. Even though people in town stopped in to check on her frequently, it never seemed to be enough. Mrs. Grossman had all the time in the world to sit and chat about the years gone by. That wasn’t the case this time. “I know it’s hard. But there is nothing I can charge him with.” She was actually blown away that Kyle had even stopped and waited until she arrived so he could give his statement. Most kids his age would’ve stepped on the gas and taken off. Kyle probably figured it was better to deal with the law than have his parents called. In a small town like Hope Valley, everyone knew everyone, and if you didn’t provide the facts, the story was certainly going to be exaggerated as it was retold over and over again. With any luck, Reanna would be able to calm Mrs. Grossman down so she could get back to the station and clock out. “Mrs. Grossman, I think Kyle feels horrible for what happened to Sammy.”

“He…he should. Sammy was my…my best friend,” she choked.

Reanna fought back the chuckle that was building up inside her. Mrs. Grossman was known for being overly dramatic. But this wasn’t a stage performance. As she looked at Mrs. Grossman again, she could tell that her pain was real, and Reanna felt badly for her. But no words were going to help right now. Mrs. Grossman was grieving, and the less said, the best.

“I’m really sorry, Mrs. Grossman. I didn’t see it until it was right in front of my car. I tried to stop. I really did,” the kid tried explaining. “I’ll talk to my dad. I’m sure he’ll let me buy you a new one.”

Reanna immediately knew that had been a mistake on his part. She felt Mrs. Grossman tense and knew she was about to blow her top. She was a sweet old woman, but a spitfire when she was angry.

“It?” Mrs. Grossman shrieked. “Sammy was not an it! Sammy won a blue ribbon at the country fair two years ago,” she stated proudly. “He was…beautiful. And you think you can just buy me a new one? You can’t put a price on love,” she huffed. She pulled the shoebox that held Sammy’s remains closer to her chest and said, “I can see that neither of you understand the gravity of this situation.” Sniffing, she raised her nose up in the air and said firmly, “If you’ll excuse me, I have arrangements to make.”

Kyle stood with his mouth gaped wide open, at a loss for words. It was a bit late for that. The damage was done. Reanna watched Mrs. Grossman carry the box to the back of her house. Once out of sight, she turned to Kyle and said, “If I were you, I’d stay off this road for awhile.”

“Yeah. She’s really pissed. But I’m telling you the truth, Officer Long. I never saw Sammy until it was too late,” Kyle said.

She was a lover of all creatures, large and small, but this was nothing more than an accident. Kyle had been doing the speed limit. And Kyle definitely couldn’t predict Mrs. Grossman’s prize toad deciding to make a break for it by booking it to the street to get to the pond on the other side. Sorry you didn’t make it, Sammy.

“Kyle, it wasn’t anything but an accident. And you did the right thing by stopping.”

“So you don’t think I should buy her a new one?” he asked.

Reanna shook her head. “I think you should go home and hit the books. If I’m right, you have exams next week.”

Kyle rolled his eyes. “It’s Friday. I was on my way to meet up with my friends,” he sighed.

“Yes it is. But I think studying will help keep your mind off Mrs. Grossman,” she said.

“I think playing basketball with my friends might work better.”

“Kyle, this is your senior year. Finish strong. Have you figured out where you’re going to college?”

He shrugged. “Dad said I have to work the summer to help pay for it, so I’m going to go