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Setting Friday Free (A Buzby Beach Novel) Chapter 13

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DW is a veteran, a father, a husband, and a teacher. He's published 9 YA/NA novels thus far. The story you're reading might be next.

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Garrison got home and got ready for bed, but sleep wouldn't come. Hoping a swim would tire him out and help him relax, Garrison headed out to the pool.

Half expecting Friday to show up, he stopped on the deck and listened carefully for the sound of someone swimming in the pool. When he felt sure he was alone, he went down the upper deck steps to the pool deck.

Garrison changed his mind about going for a swim once he was standing at the edge of the pool, looking into the water. Instead, he went into the kitchen, grabbed a seltzer from the fridge, and made himself comfortable in one of the padded chaise lounges in the sun room. His thoughts turned to Friday.

I need to find out who she is and why she keeps sneaking into my pool. It was quirky the first couple of times, but tonight things got a little creepy. Is Friday some kind of stalker? Is she dangerous?

What if she shows up at Denver's or someplace when I'm with Laurel? Should I tell Laurel about Friday? How would I explain about the weird girl who keeps showing up in my pool who kissed me out of the blue?

I could talk to Officer Langstrom about her. He's pretty cool. He knows everybody on Buzby Beach.

Deciding to talk to Officer Mark Langstrom about Friday put Garrison's mind at ease. The next thing he knew, the sun was streaming in the windows of the sun room. Garrison found his cell phone and checked the time. He grimaced when he saw it wasn't even seven o'clock.

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"What I need is a wakeup swim," he told his phone. "After a quick pit stop."

The pool's cool water was bracing and served Garrison's purpose of bringing his somnolent state to an end.

When he felt fully awake, Garrison showered in the cabana house and let the sun dry him in one of the loungers on the deck before he went inside to dress and go in search of Officer Langstrom.

At the Buzby Beach Police station, the desk sergeant informed Garrison that Officer Langstrom was on bike patrol along Ocean Street and the boardwalk when Garrison asked to speak to him.

"If you walk up the boardwalk, you'll probably run into him," Sergeant Clemens advised Garrison. "Are you sure I can't help you?"

Garrison's lowered his eyes and considered asking Sergeant Clemens about Friday. He decided he'd wait and talk to Officer Langstrom first.

"Thanks just the same, Sergeant. I'll see if I can find Officer Langstrom. If he can't help me, is it okay if I come back and ask you?"

"Sure thing, Garrison," Sergeant Clemens said. "You know I'll do what I can."

"I know. Thanks again." Garrison left the police station and walked east on Eleventh Street until it intersected with Ocean Street.

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A left turn on Ocean Street took him past the Cross Roads Townhouse complex and The Pirate's Cave Restaurant before crossing the odd intersection with Tenth Street on the left and the Twelfth Street Extension on the right. It was a short walk from Ocean and Twelfth to the new section of the Buzby Beach Boardwalk. The wooden walkway along the beach strand now reached from Fifth Street in the north to Tenth Street in the south.

Garrison stepped onto the boardwalk. While he walked north, he looked for Officer Langstrom. Garrison also scanned the faces of girls with dark brown hair in hopes of spotting Friday. He reached Buzby Island Pier without seeing either of his quarries.

A glance at his phone told Garrison he needed to head back home if he wanted to pick Laurel up on time to make lunch and the movie. Garrison made it about three steps in the direction of his house when he spotted Officer Langstrom and waved him down.

Officer Langstrom stopped his bike next to Garrison and asked, "What's up? Mika, Sergeant Clemens, mentioned you'd stopped by the station to see me."

"Yes, I did. Do you know anything about a girl named Friday who lives here on the island? At least, I think she lives here."

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Officer Langstrom tilted his head and said, "You want me to help you track down a girl you're crushing on?"

Garrison gasped. "No! It's nothing like that. This girl, Friday, has shown up in my pool the last three days - well, two days and one night - and I have no idea who she is, where she's from, or why she keeps coming back."

"Do you know her last name?" the officer inquired.

Garrison shook his head. "All I know is she told me her name was Friday."

Officer Langstrom nodded. "What does this girl look like?"

"She's stunning," Garrison recalled. "Her hair is dark brown like cocoa. Her eyes are dark, too. She's tall, but about three or four inches shorter than me, I think. Slender."

"Is there anything else you can tell me?" the officer prodded.

"Yeah," Garrison said. "She's always wearing the same white bikini. She puts on this yellow dress sun dress when she leaves. I've never seen her wear anything else."

Officer Langstrom pressed his lips together and squinted. "Hmm. Are you sure she's wearing a bikini? Could it be a bra and panties?"

Garrison shrugged. "I don't think so. It definitely looks like a bikini. It's modest, though, not like you see most girls wearing these days."

The officer shifted his bike under him. "When was the last time you saw this girl, Friday?"

"Last night," Garrison said. "The first time I saw her was Wednesday afternoon when I got home from class. She was there on Thursday when I got home, too. Friday, she didn't show up until after my friends left." Garrison related to the officer some of the odd things Friday had said about seeing him with Laurel and knowing what he and his friends talked about when she wasn't there.

Officer Langstrom patted Garrison on the shoulder. "I'll see what I can find out about this girl. From what you tell me, she may need some kind of help. If she shows up again, call the station right away. Call 911 if you think she's becoming dangerous. When I learn anything, I'll be in touch."

"Thank you, sir," Garrison said. "At first, having her show up seemed harmless enough, but after the things she said last night ... anyway, thanks."

Garrison's story continues in Chapter 14

© 2020 DW Davis

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