Chapter 6: Telling the Truth….Or Not
Against his own will, Brad heads out of the hauler with a roll of his eyes. He couldn’t believe that the boys were forcing him to say something to someone about the letters. Couldn’t they understand that it didn’t really matter?
He figured that he’d rather tell Roger than tell Mike as he still didn’t see why this warranted such a big deal. He would tell Roger what was going on and Roger would warn the PR people, add some extra bodyguards perhaps and life would move forward as if nothing happened – or so he hoped. He didn’t want a big deal to made out of this.
He heads into the hauler, thinking that Roger was at the back of the hauler up in the lounge. He goes through, feeling odd and cold about the situation as he didn’t see anybody else in the hauler.
“It’s post-practice before qualifying – they’re in the garage area,” he tells himself with a deep breath as he goes to head up the steps into the lounge area. He then feels a hand on his shoulder, curious as to who had entered the hauler. “Who?” He goes to turn around to face the person, curiosity, filling him, though is only met by laughter and a man wearing a black mask.
Immediately, Brad’s fear hits a whole new level as he knew there was no more playing around anymore. Brad goes to push the person back after he snaps out of his surprise, though the person gets the first shove, sending him into the back cabinet hard against his back.
“What the hell?!?” Someone yells from the outside as they head inside the trailer, curious as to what happened. Before the person reaches where he is, the masked dude drops a piece of paper rand runs off without another word. Joey immediately runs up through the hauler, not caring where the person went at that point. “Brad?” Brad looks over at Joey, the pain evident in his face.
“Hey,” he says quietly. Brad then scoots himself up, slowly getting up as Joey holds out his hand. Brad uses it to help himself up, leaning against the wall, no doubt biting his tongue in the process.
“What hurts?” Joey knew that Brad was sore, whether his teammate was willing to admit it or not.
“My back, shoulders.” Brad stretches a little as he stays leaning there as Joey peaks out of the hauler.
“Don’t go anywhere. I’m calling for help.” Joey then peeks outside the hauler, getting the attention of a NASCAR official. He then quickly explains the situation and the official tells him to stay there as he’ll get security and someone from the care center there as soon as possible. “Thank you.” Joey then peeks back inside, placing his eyes back on Brad.
“Go ahead – tell me that you told me so. I guess I should’ve listened. I didn’t think that anybody that crazy truly existed.” Brad then reaches down for the letter that dropped beside him, set to open it.
Given the drop of the letter and what had happened, he figured that the pieces were coming together. The person had been writing the letters and now this was their first round of attack. This was probably only the start of what they had in mind till they were caught.
You guessed it – more fear crept into Brad as he unfolded the piece of paper. He was scared of contents given the latest events that had happened.
As the note comes into full view, he noticed some clear differences from the previous letters that had shown up in his life. This person had used bold straight letters versus cursive. They had also written ‘Brad’ at the top, versus writing ‘Bradley Keselowski’. He then lets his eyes scan over the words, confusion hitting him immediately.
I know of the letters that she is sending you. She needs to learn that she can’t confide in you. You need to put an end to her letters, or else I am going to come back with more to say.
“What the fuck?” He asks himself as he hands the piece of paper over to Joey, ready for his opinion. It was like his whole world had been turned on it end with the simple fact of three sentences. What was truly going on?
“She writing other letters…confiding in you…” Joey reads over the letter as he looks up from the letter. “So obviously it’s a girl that wrote the other letters, I think, and that was her boyfriend who attacked you. He’s jealous of her letters so he does that to send a message, thinking that you’re both having a conversation. In truth, she’s writing creepy crap that has you going qua-fuck?” Brad shakes his head yes, basically figuring that Joey’s logic was better than any that he had at the moment.
“Something is going on here, Joey. I don’t know what it is – but something is going on.” Joey shakes his head in agreement as he sets the letter down.
“You just clued in now?”
“There’s something about those other letters in what she’s writing in trying to send some sort of message. There’s something that has her boyfriend mad, and I intend to find out what it is.” Brad takes a deep breath, pain still there as he watches a security guard walk in with a doctor from the care center.
With the new information laid in front of him, Brad was set to go through the previous five letters and figure out more about this ‘girl’ and why she was writing him. He knew that he had to for his own safety, considering how crazy her boyfriend seemed.
First, though, he wanted some ice and something else for the pain.
Chapter 7: The Aftermath
“So besides some bruising, you should be okay,” the doctor finished up after he had finished checking Brad out. The doctor had looked over both his back and shoulders, making sure that there were no bones broken, or anything of significantly serious that he had to worry about.
“If he would’ve said something sooner, there would’ve been nothing to worry about,” Paul comments from his corner in the small room, receiving an eye glare from Brad. Since hearing from Joey as to what happened, Paul hadn’t stopped about the fact that Brad should’ve said something sooner. Knowing that Brad was okay, Paul had it in his mind that it’d be a good idea to teach a valuable lesson to Brad through this. “But hey, they’re just simple notes, right?” Brad just rolls his eyes, focusing on the wall ahead of him rather than his crew chief. It was rightfully annoying to hear Paul go on and on about this.
Brad knew that he should’ve said something. He knew that he should’ve listened. But, was that Brad Keselowski’s way of doing things? No sir as he didn’t take the easy route, being his own stubborn self in each road possible. It was why he had kept on the fact that he could handle it himself without intervention.
Now that he had met half of the scenario – or so he thought was half – he knew that his words were wrong and he should’ve said something. Still, he hated to hear those words repeated by Paul. He was being reminded of his wrongful doing by the pain that he was now feeling.
“Thanks doc,” Brad says before leaving the room and heading out.
He wouldn’t be able to head far, having a scheduled appointment with an officer. Once word spread about what happened from the official that Joey spoke to, it was turned into police investigation with NASCAR also curious.
Brad sat down with the officer, telling his complete side of the story. He told him what happened in the hauler with the masked dude. He explained all the letters tha he had gotten and their respective locations and timing. He handed over whatever letters that he had – but not before taking a photo of each.
He didn’t want to simply let the letters go. After reading the latest letter and what happened, his curiosity was peaked, as was Joey’s, and the pair were determined to figure out what was going on. To do that, you obviously need something to look over. For that reason, Brad made sure to take a cell phone photo of each so he could look back at them later while trying to answer the questions that clouded his mind.
“As you probably know by now, it is kind of advised that if you receive letters of this nature especially with your status and those locations, you should’ve said something,” the officer starts as Brad rolls his eyes. Same lecture that he had already received. “Now that we know what is going on, we will open an investigation in checking these letters out and all leads to determine who is behind it. We will keep you in the loop throughout the investigation. Till we determine everything, we will have a security guard that will accompany you at all times to make sure that nothing else happens.”
“Okay,” Brad simply accepts, amused by the fact that he’d have a security guard to go with him everywhere, 24/7. The idea brought pure amusement to Brad as he could only wonder the fun that would come with that. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome, sir. You can also call me if you have any questions at any time.”
“Okay.” The pair then wrapped up their discussion, before Brad met his ‘guard’ for the weekend before heading off back to the hauler.
With qualifying not for another hour, Brad had plans of simply relaxing in hopes that the pain would ease off. No matter the pain, he was determined to qualify his car later that day. He wasn’t about to let it slow him down as he believed that he had a shot to win the Brickyard 400, and didn’t want to lose that shot.
Chapter 8: Post Discussion
After meeting up with the ‘guard’ that would make sure nobody came near him, Brad headed back to his motorcoach, heading inside after unlocking the door.
“I’ll stay here to make sure everyone stays away that you don’t want,” the guard comments as Brad goes inside the motorcoach. He took a glance at the couch, having expected Joey to be there as they had talked of meeting when the pair separated.
Brad sinks down on the couch across from Joey, putting his feet up as he lets out a long sigh. The Tylenol was staying to take effect as the pain was slowly subsiding, but it couldn’t work quick enough as far as Brad was concerned.
“Do you want anything?” Joey asked as he glanced over at Brad. He could tell that Brad wasn’t in the position of moving far between now and qualifying. While Brad tried to put it off that it wasn’t bugging him that much, Joey could see otherwise.
“No,” Brad answered. “I just want to relax, alright?” Joey shakes his head yes as he sits back, relaxing. He had thought that they were going to have a discussion about things based on what was said earlier, but could also understand the new stance.
“That’s fine.” Joey then focuses back on watching the TV show that he had put on, though found himself taking repeated glances towards Brad’s direction, out of curiosity. “Is something wrong?” Brad lets out a sigh as he looks over at his teammate. There was no use hiding anything anymore with what had happened.
“Who would do this? Why would they do this? It doesn’t make sense.” Brad lets out a sigh as he thinks over the notes – the different sets of writing, the different attitudes, the attack – trying to put something together.
“I don’t know, but I wish I did.” Joey then takes out a couple pieces of paper, handing the over to Brad. “I printed the photos that I took of the letters before the police confiscated them, incase you wanted to think it over more. Somehow, there’s a reason that girl is messaging me – whether for wrong intentions or not.”
“Thanks Captain Obvious!” Brad then goes back to the first couple of letters, looking the over once again. “I thought her reasons were threatening based on how they were worded, but what if I was wrong?” Joey then looks at Brad, confused and curious.
“What are you trying to say?”
“What if what her boyfriend is saying is true? What if she is trying to confide in me without leaving a trace?” Joey then snatches the notes back, now curious as to why the change of thought. He reads over the letters, each one all the way through, seeing as to how that could be a thought. However, it still didn’t make sense as there was no thought of trying to be rescued or otherwise. “The person who attacked me – decent size guy, obviously knows how to be threatening. He could be hurting her and she feels that possibly I am her way out. But why me? Why not someone else? Why not a friend of hers that she could identify with immediately?”
Brad then lays back, thinking over the letters in his mind as he tries to figure out how it pieces together. He was normally smart and good at putting things together. He had put his race team together, his life together and other situations. It was why he was one of the more outspoken individuals because everything always seemed to fit together. Why wasn’t this fitting together?
As the hour passed by, Brad was left with no more time to think as it was time for Sprint Cup qualifying. As he went out towards pit road and got ready to go, he was high on confidence. He believed that his team could put in the qualifying effort that was needed – despite the situation. They had been strong all year so far, they had posted top qualifying efforts from beginning of year till now so why would this weekend be any different?
Qualifying would go as planned, with a solid third place starting spot behind Harvick and Gordon. It was certainly a good start to the weekend and even more satisfying with everything that had been going on.
“We’ve got this,” Brad told Paul before heading out of the hauler and set to go back to the motorcoach for the night. He was set on having a relaxing night after what the day had brought to be prepared for the rest of the weekend.
The rest of the weekend was going to go fine. The cops were going to find the individual who had attacked him, arrested him while he stayed safe under the guard’s watch and picked up one of the most important victories of his career.
Chapter 9: The Guard
Despite the chaotic course of events the day before, the night brought forth comfort for the champ. He got his sleep with ease, continuing to not let the flurry of notes bugging him. He knew he was safe with the guard. He knew he’d figure out the pieces of puzzle in due time.
With a good nights sleep under him, he was feeling much better physically in the morning and it didn’t take much for him to get focused on racing. He knew that practice was critical to have a good race on Sunday and a good race was much needed as he wouldn’t mind a win at Indianapolis.
After chatting with Paul on the plan for the day, he walks up to the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, set to climb in and get set for the first practice run, ready to start the list of things that Paul wants to try so they can get quicker. The goals for the day were simple: find speed over the short run, find speed over the long run, make the car comfortable to drive and make sure to not be abusing tires. To do that, a list was brought up by Paul of things to try based on what had worked the day prior and in past races.
As he reaches in to grab his helmet which one of the crew members had placed in the car earlier in the day as per team schedule, he feels a piece of paper in the helmet. Immediately, his body goes cold as he pulls it out and out of the car. The action isn’t gone unseen, as everybody else on the crew notices the behavior – especially the guard and Paul.
As Brad unfolds the piece of paper, Paul’s eyes dart directly to the guard as if to be asking how it got there. The guard simply shrugs his shoulders in response while keeping an eye on Brad.
“I spent yesterday afternoon till 10pm, before my partner took over till 10am this morning and I met up with Brad,” the guard begins explaining to the confused crew chief. “My job is stay with Mr. Keselowski constantly. I have done my job.”
“Then how’d this get here?” Paul questions as the guard shrugs his shoulders, unsure of what to say. There wasn’t much that guard could say as he had done his job and Paul knew this. However, it was still uneasy knowing that someone had put another piece of paper in the car. He then looks around at the crew members, receiving shrugs from them as if they didn’t see the person either. Was this person invisible? Did they know magic?
While the guard and Paul were focused on how the note got there, Brad had his eyes set on the note as he unfolded it. He immediately recognized the handwriting, matching the previous notes that he had seen but not the male variety – the female variety. He noticed how once again she had fully written out ‘Bradley’ and kept it as neat as ever, obviously taking her time in appearance. That, or she had a lot of practice in the writing department.
I feel bad for the attack. I hope you’re feeling better.
I did not want to involve you, however I saw you no choice.
You know me. I know you. There was a spark there once.
We haven’t seen each other as much lately. He is why.
I need a savior – you’re right. I need you to be my savior.
You’ve always been my shining knight in blue armor.
Save me, Bradley. Remember me, help me.
As with the previous letters, there was no signed name and no way to contact her in return. He wished that she would’ve left a better hint or some sort of way to be in touch.
Who was she? Her words continued to resonate in his mind. They knew each other. She had access to the Sprint Cup Series garage – somehow. They had some interest in each other by her usage of the word ‘spark’ and it wasn’t someone that he had seen lately.
He lets his mind drift through the girls that he had seen in the past that had left some sort of mark – whether good or bad.
“I should take this and have the police officer take it into evidence,” the guard interrupts Brad’s thoughts.
“One second,” Brad says. He takes a photo of the letter before handing it off to the guard, who calls up for the officer.
“You’d think they could use some sort of fingerprint technology or something,” Paul muses under his breath as he walks by the guard, going over to where most of the crew is hanging out. “This car isn’t going out till you all check over every inch. I want everything checked over to make sure it wasn’t touched. Understand?” The crew guys all shake their heads yes before going about their job as requested.
“I heard your comment and we have run the fingerprints without any success,” the guard speaks up after he gets off the phone. “Focus on your job while I focus on mine. We’re going to have a guard solely focused on watching the garage area from now on as well with this being the second straight incident.”
“Ignore Paul’s snipes as he’s just frustrated,” Brad tells the guard as he focuses on the photo of the letter on his phone. He was debating forwarding to Joey, per their previous discussions, however didn’t want to distract his teammate from practice. One of them needed to have a good practice at least.
Chapter 10: The Girl
She stands in the garage stall, watching as the crew works feverishly on the car. It was her job to post updates throughout practice on the team’s twitter handle. She posted a couple updates here and there about handling and the practice chart, and then sent a couple photos of the guys in the garage. The fans ate it up while it kept her boss happy.
At least someone was happy with her current status in life.
She peaks down the garage area, seeing the Miller Lite team looking over every inch of Brad’s car before he heads out. He hadn’t been out for practice yet – she had noticed it – having watched their actions since the moment that she had stepped foot in the garage area. Given her knowledge of the garage and how many people she was friends with, it was easy to plant the note.
She just hoped that he finally started to get who was behind the note.
There were plenty who had wondered why the notes were signed, and she often thought of signing with her name. However, she didn’t want to leave a trace.
She didn’t want the cops to figure out that it was her writing the notes as if they came looking for her, that’d spread way too much trouble. She would be in trouble rather than finding the salvation that she wanted, she was in a high profile spot and didn’t want to bring bad publicity down the tube to those she worked for and it would go against the intentions of her plan.
She also didn’t want her boyfriend to find out incase he found one by accident. Well, to late as that happened. He had caught her planting a note. That resulted in the attack against Brad, which she was glad to see that he was okay. That also resulted in a strict lecture, headache and pain of her own to boot, which she was fighting against in being able to do her job.
With him knowing, she thought of simply going to Brad and saying the truth. Where was the harm now in being figured out? However, she worried as to what that’d bring for both her and Brad if she was caught in process. She thought of going to the authorities, but hey, that was a problem based on the threats that loomed on her head.
So rather than going with one of those steps, she stood there and watched. She hoped that he caught on based on either the writing or the clues. She hoped that he would realize that she was the master behind the notes.
“Doing your job as always?” Steve asks, catching her to look up from her phone.
“Would you expect otherwise?” She questions causing the crew chief to grin at her.
“Just don’t spread our secrets and I won’t complain.”
“Why would I do such a thing like that? I’d like to be celebrating in victory lane tomorrow and know that can’t be done if the competition knows our secrets. On that thought, you better get back to work.” She then snaps a quick photo of him, before sending it out as she watches him get back to work.
She enjoyed working with the boys as they were a good group to PR before. Each of the crew members had fun with the media side and her driver wasn’t hard to please in keeping the schedule in order. He also knew how to stay out of trouble, keeping her job easy as could be.
She had thought of telling one of them – perhaps Steve, perhaps someone else – the truth as to what was going on, but quickly thought against that. While she enjoyed working with them, she didn’t trust them as much as she trusted Brad. For that reason, it made it easier to tell Brad than tell them. Hence why she had created the idea of the notes – lure his attention so it didn’t look as though she was seeking him and then get salvation through him. She just wished the plan would come together quicker.