Chapter Five: Turnover and Kind Inclinations

Tori had expected to be apart of the entire wealth turnover process, but that was not what Mr. Peeters had in mind. Right away he rushed Tori into a car in order to send her off to jump back onto a plane to her hometown without a single security guard, only a handful of US hundred dollar bills. Tori tried to protest, but Mr. Peeters assured her that now that she was the" least safe person on the planet" and that she must hide her face during this exchange. Tori had little idea of what could be so frightening that the unflappable Mr. Peeters would be so firm with her, but she was well aware that he could easily cheat her whether she were beside him or across the planet. Tori found it ironic that now that she had some interest in staying in that horrible estate that she was rushed out of it. Still, the entire flight to New Mexico Mr. Peeters's words haunted her, "least safe person on the planet." What did that mean? How could she get ahold of Mr. Peeters if she needed him? Was she being exiled?


At her trailer once more after the long trip, Tori searched the papers about her father's death, wondering more about the man and his legacy. To her confusion, there was nothing of the sort to be found. No news of a rich man's death in Sweden, no funeral announcements. It was as if the man never truly existed at all. As the days went by Tori felt like the whole ordeal had been some distanced musing as opposed to a recent event. She assumed that Mr. Peeters had swindled her or that she was never meant to receive anything from the man whom she was introduced to as her father. Why was he so rich? Why did her mother run away from him? Did her mother even know he was Tori's father? Tori had more questions than answers, but the warning that Mr. Peeters imparted to her was foreboding enough to cause her to shy away from going to her usual sources of information for support. In an effort to keep matters to herself, Tori took the money that Mr. Peeters had given to her and stuffed it in a hole under a floorboard that was covered by a rug. It was somewhere that was her mother's old hiding place for cash because Tori's mother had never trusted the people in the trailer park as much as she let on. Not that they ever had much to take anyway.


Molly did drop by when she saw Tori was back. She asked Tori all about her adventure out of town. Tori lied though, brushing off her experience by saying that the law office was mistaken and that it took days to figure out the problem. Tori was also sure to omit that she went anywhere other than New York. She doubted she would have been believed had she said what actually happened regardlessly. When Molly pressed her for details Tori changed the topic by asking her questions about school. Molly prattled on about her typical drama that once interested Tori endlessly, now this same discussion was of no consequence to Tori, as if it was too trivial and pointless to learn such mundane things about another person's life. Tori started to zone out before forcing herself to pay attention long enough to hear that Molly apparently had a new boyfriend, Jesse, who was a skateboarding champion. Molly continued on to say that she wanted Tori to meet him and his buddy, Rocky. They had all arranged for Tori to go on a double date without including Tori in the planning, something that would not have bothered Tori two weeks ago. Tori wanted to keep as low as she could but thought that sitting in her trailer until further notice could very well be years and agreed to the invitation with Molly before sending her on her way for the night.


Still, without a car or a job, Tori and Molly both met the two boys at a taco truck by the trailer park that Saturday night. Tori had expected to be bored if not fully disgusted by Jesse as Tori had already had a bad experience with a blind date previously. However upon seeing Jesse for the first time, Tori was not only not revolted, but actually impressed. Molly had done right by her for once. Jesse had thick dark brown hair, a friendly smile, and was neither too fat nor too thin. Molly's boyfriend, Rocky on the other hand was no winner, as he was already a total burnout at the age of nineteen. Tori silently hoped that Molly wouldn't get pregnant and have to drop out of school like so many other girls who lived in the trailer park. The one thing that Tori did know about life at her father's estate in Sweden was that not a single baby had been seen, heard, or mentioned at any point by anyone there, something Tori took to be directly intentional. As for the date, Tori and Molly watched as the boys did tricks on their skateboards in the parking lot of an abandoned warehouse. Tori stared at the warehouse wishing that it were not such a glum sight in her community. She wondered if she would ever have the means to fix the part of town that she lived in for the rest of the residents. This thought only manifested more after the date was done and Tori went back to her trailer for the night, narrowly avoiding Molly's request to use her living room as a makeout point for her and Rocky.


The following twelve weeks were uneventful. Tori became more comfortable each day with never seeing Mr. Peeters again. She lived off of the money that he gave her. She had planned to go right to work out of school and buy Mr. Ronny's car. Maybe it was the blood transfusion or that she was mentally exhausted and it was starting to catch up with her, but she decided to put off going to the fast-food row for a little in hopes of finding work. Instead, she lived off of those hundred-dollar bills for as long as she could. Thinking maybe she should go to college or something more ambitious than she had originally intended. That was until she was all but out of money and went to her mailbox hoping for a miracle. Nothing other than a water bill and a postcard with a coupon code for a place she could not afford to shop at. At her door, a mail carrier had slipped a package under her front mat, the return address was Mr. Kenton in New York. In it were the details to a small checking/ savings account with Tori listed as the primary account holder, along with a debit card. There was also a note from Mr. Peeters. It essentially explained that Tori was to have a small stipend until her eighteenth birthday, which consisted of the enclosed information. The account was to renewed monthly, all overdrafts would come out of the next month's allowance. She would have thanked Mr. Peeters but considered that he wanted to keep their familiarity as discreet as possible because he once again warned her in his letter just that. Whatever the means, Tori was glad to have some breathing room in her budget and that she wasn't totally cut off after giving more blood than she should have to the old pig she knew as her father.


The summer soon drew near and Tori enjoyed her days with Jesse, that is until Jesse fell and injured his hand doing an ollie. He cried out in pain, Tori felt so helpless as she stood beside him. Jesse went home to lick his wounds, leaving her to walk the two miles back to the trailer park by herself. She thought about how she could help, ideas circled around her head as she ran scenarios through her mental processes. She concluded that she could rent a safer venue for Jesse to skate at until she had a more permanent solution. That night she pulled out her old yellow pages and highlighted the number for her to call to rent the old warehouse across the street from the trailer park. She intended to clean the place up herself so that Jesse and she could have their own hideaway for the summer that could include her other friends. After all, she thought, what's the harm in that?