WW-School’s Out

Good morning!  It is Wednesday and we are continuing the Winchester story.  Another part and another piece of the mystery to be solved.  Will Gemma be found?  Will Winchester help to solve another mystery?   I guess you will have to keep reading this Adventure story!  Enjoy!

School’s Out

“I told you.  You aren’t going to find anything here.”  The secretary of Forester Elementary stood off to the side of the office with her arms crossed.  She was very reluctant, and completely unwilling, to have Anthony and West looking through her computer, but they had a warrant and they were going to search.

West was sitting in the world’s most uncomfortable office chair, clicking around on the computer.  He was trying to find anything that was helpful or anything that might lead them to Gemma. He finally found the admissions records file and quickly clicked on it to open them.  His eyebrows furrowed. “Is there any way to look at a specific family?”

The secretary let out a sigh.  “Yeah…just type it in the search bar.”  She pointed toward the top of the screen. “There.  Just click there. Geez, don’t you know how to use a computer?”

West ignored her comment and clicked on the search bar.  His fingers flew across the keyboard, typing in the last name Hanaway.  2 names came up: Devon Hanaway and Ginger Hanaway. Ginger was 8 years old and in the 2nd grade class.  That seemed odd to West. “It says here that Ginger Hanaway is 8, almost 9, and she’s only in 2nd grade?  That seems odd doesn’t it?” He turned to Anthony. “Wasn’t I in 3rd or 4th grade at that age?”

“Uh…4th.  You turned 9 while in 4th grade.”

The secretary nodded.  “Yes, that does seem odd until you hear Ginger’s story.  The poor girl has been in and out of foster care her whole life and has transferred to so many different schools.  She’s a very quiet girl so I think it’s hard for her to grasp everything in her classes. Plus…it’s just hard to grasp all of the material from class when you are moving schools constantly.  But the Hanaway family was so sweet and they adopted her halfway through the school year. Since then she has started to blossom in her school work.” She sighed. “Unfortunately she is still a very quiet girl who doesn’t have many friends to talk to.  But she is doing much in her school work which is awesome for her.”

Anthony took a step toward the secretary and showed her the picture of Gemma.  “Is this Ginger?”

The secretary shook her head.  “Not at all. Ginger has dark curly hair, not this red hair.  And she has a ton of freckles. I think I would know one our students if I saw them.”

“Do you have a picture of Ginger?”

The secretary groaned.  “Why are you so interested in this family?  Geez…” She walked around the desk and grabbed a yearbook from that school year.  She flipped through the pages and stopped on the 2nd grade page. She pointed at one picture.  “See…this is Ginger….” She paused and looked at the picture before gasping. Her face turned pale.  “I need to call the police.”

West threw his hands in the air.  “We are the police! We need to go get Gemma out of that classroom and take her to her family.  Can you show us where to go?”

The secretary immediately lead them outside and they started to walk toward the classrooms.  They turned a corner to see 3 rooms that all had a number 2 on it. The secretary opened the classroom door and the three of them stepped inside to 20 sets of eyes turn to them.  The teacher understandably looked shocked that the secretary of the school, a police officer, and a teenager came bursting into her classroom. “Um…can I help you?”

West took a step forward and cleared his throat.  “Uh yes ma’am. I am Winchester West, a consultant with the Northridge Police Department.  We are here to take Gemma Edwards back to her home and her family who misses her dearly.” One of the little girls stood up and ran into West.  She was crying as she grabbed hold of his legs, almost as if she was afraid to let go. He wrapped his arms around her and patted the back of her head.  “It’s okay Gemma. We’re going to get you home.”

He picked her up and carried her out the door while his father collected her backpack and other belongings.  The secretary stayed behind so she could talk to the teacher and get things settled. West carried Gemma to his dad’s car and unlocked the door.  Gemma had calmed down a little but her eyes were still filled with tears “I wanna see my mommy and daddy. When can I see my mommy and daddy?”

Winchester set her down on the ground and knelt down to get on her level.  He grabbed her hands and smiled. “Soon. We just have to ask you a few questions and then we can see your mom and dad.  Would that be okay?”

She smiled and nodded.  “Okay. I just wanna go home.”

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