The Trillionaire Chapter Seven: The Most Valuable of Things

By the time Mr. Kenton called Tori back, she was in a full panic attack. She could hardly explain the situation to him before he told her that he had heard enough and that he would be in touch. She didn't know what that meant. Was he going to help her or was she on her own? Should she turn herself in to the police or wait for them to find her? To ease her stress she kept reaching for something to dig her nails into, not that it would relieve her. She was in a state of pure dread-induced agitation. When Mr. Kenton did call her back a few hours later she was beside herself with uncertainty. Mr. Kenton, as cooly, as if he were ordering a drink at a coffee shop told her he had the situation under control. Tori practically twitched not knowing what that meant. She, almost in a voice of anger asked if she had to turn herself in. Mr. Kenton laughed, saying no, she didn't need to do anything at all, and wished her a good day before hanging up. Tori stood stunned, wondering what she was to do with herself. A murder had happened due to her negligence and apparently, she was off the hook for it. It was a tainted victory in her mind. She could not shake the feeling of responsibility for it.


Tori didn't leave her trailer or go to the college that day. She laid under her bed feeling like the world was going to close in on her if she even tried to stand. Days of waiting turned into a couple of weeks and the police never contacted Tori again. The news outlets reported that the person who died was a convicted smuggler and the assailant was a bookie after him for an unpaid debt. The case hardly got air time and was old news within forty-eight hours. To the world, the whole event had been like adding salt to the ocean; completely disappeared before it could have been noted in history. Tori's anxiety had gotten the better of her as she rolled scenarios of the victim having been Molly or Jesse. The guilt of it all was excruciating. Any sense of pride or control that Tori had left for her entirely. She looked back at herself from just a month prior and could not comprehend how foolish she had been. She did not want to live in the town she had known as her home for fear she would out of her own ignorance, accidentally bring harm to those she meant to help.


Tori had just withdrawn her application at the community college when she found that Mr. Peeters had sent her a letter. In his usual brief manner, he wrote that she was to visit Mr. Kenton's office in Manhattan to review the holdings her father had passed down to her. She was also to contact Mr. Kenton if she were in need of help with making the travel arrangements by herself, something Tori found a bit belittling, although possibly necessary. With his letter clutched in her hand, she looked around her trailer. The big empty spot in the seating area was without a sofa still. It had been where she had slept for years, as her mother needed the bed to ease her pain from the chemotherapy. The walls of the trailer had mold that no matter how much they were wiped down, they seemed to be uncleanable. Her dishes were made of the flea market's finest plastic and the blankets were thrift store bargain bin finds, many with holes in them. As she took all of these things that made up her life into consideration, she also realized she did not know when she would be back. Mr. Peeters's letter eluded to Tori being in New York for some time and with the recent murder in a building Tori had rented, Tori had a bad taste in her mouth when it came to her new money and being close to home. She wanted as much space between that event and herself as she could until she had a better understanding of the responsibility her monetary status came with. Tori knew it was time to move on for a while.


The trailer itself meant little to Tori, but the items inside all had memories of her and her mother that she cherished. Tori checked the secret hiding spot for extra cash under the rug in her trailer, it was empty anyway due to her using bank accounts mostly these days for her allowance. With that, Tori walked across the trailer park and asked Molly to go with her one last time to the warehouse before it was officially no longer leased in her name. Tori wanted her sofa back. When they pulled up to the warehouse that had knocked down police tape around the front, Tori frowned at the sight. Once they entered the side doorway, Tori spotted the sofa, just where it had been left for her transient friend. He was long gone by then though, as all drifters know when the first rule of trouble is to flee. As she approached the sofa, she noticed that it had some unfortunate spilled beer stains on it. Molly questioned if it was worth it to take it back to her trailer. Tori assured her that it was. It kept the memory of her mother sitting on it the last day she saw her. To Tori, that old sofa was the most valuable thing she owned or ever wanted to own. Molly understood without having to ask any further inquiries and quietly helped as they loaded it onto Mr. Ronny's flatbed.


In the morning Tori called a moving company that also had a storage unit facility that they contracted with in the city. She told them to pack up everything in her trailer and to put it in the storage space she had rented indefinitely. After that, she called a travel agency to book a flight and hotel room near Mr. Kenton's office. When she turned to pack her clothes, she knew that her lost-and-found collection of sweaters and hand-me-down jeans were better left in the trailer as keepsakes, rather than functional garments. She decided to travel with only her backpack of personal documents and some pictures she had of her mom. All that was left were Molly and Jesse. As much as Tori cared for Jesse, she had to handle her business alone. Tori was well aware that the world her father lived in was no place to take anyone you care about. Tori couldn't even protect herself there, nonetheless help him if things turned as sour as they had the last time she had seen Mr. Peeters. Molly though, at least deserved a proper goodbye. Tori ate dinner with her at her trailer. Ramen noodles with ketchup packets, the only thing Tori knew how to cook. Tori told Molly she was going out of town for a summer job. Molly said she'd miss her and would tell Jesse the good news. Tori smiled, not sure when she would be back. All she was sure of was that she didn't plan to be back for as long as she possibly could.


The next day before the sun came up, Molly drove Tori to the airport in Tori's truck. At the drop-off lane, they hugged as two good friends do before they go their separate ways. Tori told Molly that movers would be at her trailer to take her things but that Molly could stay there as much as she needed while she was gone. Molly nodded in understanding. Just before Tori walked into the airport she turned to Molly one last time and said that the title to Mr. Ronny's truck was in the glovebox along with some cash to have to vehicle registered in Molly's name, and a couple of gas cards too. A tear rolled down Molly's face as she waved to Tori. Tori might not have told Molly everything that was going on, mostly because she didn't know the answers herself, but both knew that change was pushing them in different directions in a way that was going to alter each from who they were. As afraid to go back into her father's world as she was, Tori was equally as sad to leave behind her mother's world once more. Tori looked behind her to see if Molly had already driven off when she saw a security guard Mr. Peeters must have sent sticking out like a sore thumb. The man was wearing sunglasses, chinos, and a navy blue teeshirt standing about three feet to her left. He had no luggage with him. Tori knew Molly was already gone and that she was already in Mr. Peeters's care as she tipped her chin to the security guard acknowledging his presence, he smiled back.