#My52 – Week 20
Word Prompt – elevator
Word Count – 921
Reading Time – 2 mins, 6 secs
After dropping off Prentiss and promising to meet up for dinner next week, Mark Kelly headed for home.
Spending time with his family rejuvenated him. His parents’ understanding and wise counsel bolstered his resolve.
Charles Kelly’s expression had been grave.
“In a perfect world, we can do whatever we want, fulfill all our whims and desires.” He clasped his wife’s hand. “We will always support any decision you make and welcome a grandchild with open arms.”
“They will set records for spoiling a kid.”
Trudy covered her mouth to hide her giggles as Charles glared at his oldest son. “No comments from the peanut gallery.” He returned his attention to Mark.
“Follow your heart, son, but remember to listen to your mind… think it through. Marriage is an important step and not a solution to a problem.”
There was a time when he would have moved heaven and earth to have Yvonne as his wife. But loving eyes blinded him to her true character, her personal agenda, and the truth. He was nothing more than an end to the means for her, used and manipulated when needed then discarded.
Those days were over, but his mother cautioned him to not allow Yvonne to use their child as a pawn.
“All too often, children pay the price for their parents’ anger and hostility. I spent years watching my cousin, Chassie, use her son, Lee, to hurt his father. She’d show up at his job, home… family gatherings, always angry and yelling and demanding. He paid more than the required support but it was never enough for her. She wanted to make him pay for not wanting her and made the man’s life hell until he got an attorney and sued and won joint custody. Then, she interfered with his visitations.”
Trudy stared off across the backyard as though looking into the past.
“Karma is never far away though, and Chassie’s caught up to her and her bar-hopping when Lee was nine. She got two DUIs in a month and Lee’s dad sued for full custody and won.” She considered her son. “I don’t want you or any grandchild of mine going through that.”
After meeting with Yvonne and confirming her pregnancy and due date, he’d call the number on the business card his mother gave him. The family law firm had an excellent record in securing fathers’ rights in custody cases and Mark would fight for his.
He slowed as he drove past the front of his condo, curious about the police cars parked on the street. He hoped the McGills weren’t back to their weekend fighting. The management company said one more incident would force them to take legal action against the retired couple.
Rounding the corner, he entered the underground parking, glad to be home. He’d binge-watch the new season of Lucifer on Netflix and sleep-in tomorrow before getting an update on the workweek ahead.
After grabbing his duffel bag and laptop, Mark started for the elevator but stopped, seeing yellow police tape blocking the entrance.
His curiosity increased as he walked up the ramp to the exterior entrance.
Several police officers stood around the door. One stepped forward blocking Mark’s path.
“May I ask what your business is here, sir?”
Mark frowned. “I live here, What’s going on? What happened?”
“Do you have identification, sir?”
He pulled out his wallet and handed the cop his license. “Are you going to tell me what this is about? Is anyone hurt? Is it –”
The cop cut him off. “You live in unit E25?”
“Yes, I do. What is- ”
The cop turned and motioned to another uniformed colleague. “This is Mr. Kelly. He lives in E25. Escort him upstairs.”
“Sir, follow me, please.”
Exasperated, Mark followed the cop into the building and up three flights of stairs. Exiting the stairwell, he froze.
Only two units occupied each floor, and still more police personnel were gathered outside Mark’s condo.
Alarmed, he was in motion, rushing down the hallway.
“What’s going on here? What happened? This is my-”
“Sir?” A man in a dark suit tried to stop Mark but the uniformed cop spoke up.
“This is Mr. Kelly, the resident.”
Looking over the man’s shoulder, Mark’s mouth gaped open. He dropped his duffel and laptop bags.
“What the hell?”
Red paint covered every surface. Someone ripped the upholstery on the sofa and love seat to shreds before dousing them in paint. His flat screen television was smashed and lay in pieces in front of the stand. The African masks he’d spent years collecting were all smashed in the fireplace. Tables were overturned, pictures ripped from the walls… nothing had been spared.
“W-Who did this? When? Why?”
The suited man spoke up. “I’m Detective Lewis, Mr. Kelly and I was hoping you could answer those questions for us.”
Mark tried to swallow past the lump in his throat as he walked into his destroyed home. He turned in circles in the middle of the room, incredulous at the callous violation of his life. He hung his head.
“Mr. Kelly? Do you know who would do this to you? Mr. Kelly?”
He turned to the detective, shaking his head.
“You’re just getting home. Where have you been?”
“F-Fresno. Visiting my parents.”
“When did you leave town?”
“Who knew you were leaving town?”
“My job. And my brother, but he was with me.”
“No one else?”
“No. I didn’t talk to -”
Mark clenched his fists as realization dawned on him.
Who vandalized Mark’s condo? Yvonne?
To be continued…
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