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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Into the Deep (Page 55)     
  • Into the Deep(Into the Deep #1)(55) by Samantha Young
  • Grimacing, I hunched my shoulders at the reminder. “Don’t.”

    “Charley, you need to talk to them again. Aren’t you supposed to be applying to law school soon?”

    “I’m supposed to register to take the LSATs in June after I get home from Edinburgh. If I do well, I start the application process in the fall.”

    “So what are you going to do?”

    My expression was a little sheepish, my voice low as I replied, “What do you think, Rick? I’ve made a nice attempt at pretending to compromise with them because I love them and I don’t want to upset them, but this is me. I never do anything I don’t want to do. That is exactly why I keep putting off telling my parents that when I graduate, I’ll be applying to the Chicago Police Academy.”

    My sister’s fiancé’s grin was contagious and I felt a warm glow in my chest at the pleased glimmer in his eyes. “Good for you, sweetheart.”

    I nodded, and even though I was nervous about telling my folks, I felt a sense of peace rest around me at having finally admitted it out loud to a member of my family.

    “So, something I’ve never asked you before because I was trying to keep my nose clean of the issue so I didn’t upset Jim and Delia … but, why a cop?”

    “Why are you a cop?”

    Rick didn’t hesitate. “Because I was too wild. I barely got through a bachelor’s degree. I was partying too hard, and mostly just wasting my time. I was angry and I needed some discipline. It was this or the army, but being a cop kept me closer to home so I could watch over my mom.”

    “I don’t even think I have an exact answer for why I want to be a cop. I know people will say it’s a thankless job and that it involves long hours and the pay isn’t what it should be … and who knows, maybe I’ll get into it and that’s all I’ll see. But I don’t think so. I’ve just always wanted to do this.” Rick grunted and I narrowed my eyes. “What?”

    “Charley, you want to be a police officer because you have a hero complex. Why do you think the nickname Supergirl stuck?”

    I wrinkled my nose. “I don’t have a hero complex.”

    “Third grade you masterminded a plan to contain some kid in his locker at recess because he kept stealing the weaker kids’ lunch and lunch money.”

    “Henry Ames,” I nodded in disgust. “His family moved to Lanton in third grade and left in fourth. He was such a little prick.” I frowned. “Did my sister tell you that?”

    He laughed softly. “Yeah. She also told me in sixth grade you led a town search for your friend’s missing tortoise.”

    “Lacey’s tortoise, Micky D. He disappeared out of her pond. She was devastated. Turns out Jackson Emery ‘borrowed’ him and freaked out when I organized the search party. He waited three hours before confessing and his parents ended up buying the entire search party ice cream and lemonade. It cost them a small fortune. Jackson was grounded for a month.” I smirked.

    Rick continued to grin. “Freshman year, you knocked your sister out of the way of a moving vehicle.” His smile disappeared. “Junior year, you tried to save a boy’s life, and then almost took a beating trying to protect another.”

    Glowering now, I turned fully to him. “Is my sister doing a paper on me? Because I will mess her up so bad …”

    He shook his head, chuckling softly. “Sweetheart, she just talks about you. She’s proud of you. She admires you. She thinks you’d make one hell of a cop.”

    I felt a surge of happiness from my sister’s belief in me. “And what do you think?”

    He shrugged. “I think you’ll have obstacles to overcome. Sad but true, but looking the way you do, you’ll not have an easy time of it from some of the male officers. You’ll have to work harder to prove yourself, especially if you’re chasing a promotion. It’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be but it’s still there.” Before my shoulders could slump in deflation, he continued, “But I think if anyone can do it, it’s you, and I’m looking forward to witnessing it.”

    I smiled at him gratefully. “Thank you.”

    “No problem.” He eyed me carefully. “I’ve got something else to say and then I’ll take my advice elsewhere.”

    “Okay.”

    “This kid, this guy who’s messing with your head …”

    I sighed wearily. “Please, don’t, Rick—”

    He held up a hand. “Hear me out.”

    Ready to be lectured on what an idiot I was for even thinking about letting Jake back into my life, what my sister’s fiancé actually told me came as a surprise. And one that confused me even more. “Your sister told me everything about Jake. And I already know how your dad feels about him, believe me. And I get it. Had I been in Jim’s shoes and watched my kid’s heart get broken, I’d probably want to swing for the guy too. But …” His eyes filled with sympathy and understanding as he said, “I remember being a confused seventeen-year-old guy, Charley. Never mind confused. I remember being seventeen. We seem to expect and yet at the same time, hate, how fast kids grow up today, but no matter how fast we think they’re growing up, emotionally they’re still just kids. Jake was, what, barely seventeen? He’d been hassled for months, targeted unfairly, and then a kid died during a fight with him. That’s not an easy thing to get through, and if you’re the kind of person who would feel to blame for that … well, that kind of blame when you’re just a kid … could he have handled it better? Hell yes. But just because he didn’t doesn’t make him a bad guy, Charley. It made him a fallible kid who’s probably walking around with a whole lot of regret.”

    I was frozen, taking in Rick’s empathetic point of view, and knowing that everything he was saying was what had made me forgive Jake enough to let him back into my life as a friend.

    “I say this because I did a few things I regretted when I was Jake’s age. I hurt someone. I can’t take that back. Neither can Jake. But if he’s trying, then maybe you should at least give him the time to prove he means it. He’ll either prove himself right or wrong, but in the end, you won’t regret not giving him that shot.”

    I nodded. “I appreciate that. I do. However … it’s not really about giving him a shot. I’ve done that. I just … it’s too hard to now.”

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