How did I get here?

Over the course of the last year, Reed Johnson's life has made some interesting twists and turns, and sadly, very few of them were for the better. Now, to get her away from the scenes that provoked her post-traumatic stress, her father has chosen to move the family back home to Nazareth in Pennsylvania.
Both old and new friends quickly start to make an impact on her life, and pretty soon, Reed is caught up in a web of drama while dealing with a lot of stuff herself. With an already fragile mental health, who knows how she'll end up?


14. Absent

That Tuesday I was In the studio early practicing because I had a lot on my mind. Tim hadn't been to school for the last few days and he wasn't answering my calls or texts. I was really worried and I needed a reprieve from all that. So I was there half an hour early. Lara walked in not paying attention and didn't see me. She just walked over and turned the stereo off with an annoyed look on her face mumbling something about how the hip hop teacher always left that on. I had kept on dancing while she was there assuming that she was just so used to me being here that she hadn't said anything. When she turned it off I whined "Hey! I'm dancing here!". She spun around at lightning speed and gasped "For the love of God Reed! You scared me! I didn't even notice you were here."

Then concern overtook her face. "Wait when you are here early it always means somethings wrong. What's up?" She said and walked over to me. I was by the bar stretching. While doing so I said "Well since last time I have gotten a boyfriend." "Alex?" she asked and winked at me. "No his name is Tim. And his step dad is a horrible person and beat him last week. And he hasn't been to school for a while and I'm really starting to worry. And he doesn't pick up his phone when I call. Something bad might have happened to him." All the while talking I had switched to doing plies."Sweetie it'll all be ok." Lara said walking over and scrolling through her ipod looking for warm up music.  Just hen the first little girl popped in looking adorable in her tiny leotard. After fifteen minutes all the girls were here. All but one.

Gina was not there. But it was time to start class so we wrote down who was there and who was not. With a heavy heart I scribbled down absent by Gina's name. Today we were just repeating the choreography from last week and the girls finally got it right. After stretching with them they started asking if I would dance for them again. And I couldn't say no to those adorable little faces. So I agreed to do a short series of jumps did a grand jete and ended in an arabesque. They all clapped their little hands and I did a small curtsy. They giggled and went streaming out the door to their parents. I was collecting my things and when I was done Lara had already left and sent me a goodbye text because she didn't have time to say it in person. I walked out into the empty hallway and was close to the changing rooms when I heard footsteps.

I turned around to see Alex running down the hall his hair sticking in every which direction and his face deeply worried. "Hey!" I smiled trying to cheer him up. "Hey. Has Gina been here?" He asked. "No she wasn't in class." I said now worrying myself. He collapsed on the floor put his head in his hands and started to sob. I threw myself down beside him grabbing his shoulder. "Is she missing?" I said in a firm voice. He looked up and croaked "Yes". "Well she might be here somewhere." I said standing up and running down the hallway screaming at the top of my lungs "GINA!". But there was no response. I ran through the whole building screaming her name. Still no response. I ran back to Alex who was still in the same state as before. Only now he was muttering to himself  "It's my fault. It's all my fault." I put my finger under his chin and tipped up his face so that he was looking at me. I caught his eye and said "Alex listen to me. Whatever happened it is not your fault. Now where are your parents?" I asked him. "In New York again." He said quietly. "Ok then we will call the police and have them start s search for her. Meanwhile I am taking you home ok?" He nodded in agreement and let me lead him to my car. He stayed silent the whole ride while I called the police.

When we got to his house a police car was parked outside and two officers were at the front door. "Good evening." The male one said. He turned to Alex. "Are you Alex Wright?" He asked pulling together his eyebrows. "Yes" Alex said. "Son we need to ask you some questions. Can we come inside?" "Sure" He whispered and unlocked the door. Once e were all settled in the living room, me and Alex on a couch together facing the two officers on another couch they started asking questions. Where were his parents, how did Gina look, what was she wearing the last time she was seen. Alex answered them all to perfection but when the question 'Do you know why she would run away?' was brought up he muttered that thing again. "It's all my fault." "What is dear?" The female officer asked. "Gina is a little autistic. She was freaking out about her leotard. She couldn't find it and she didn't want to be late for Reed's class. She was so hysterical and I snapped at her. I told her to shut up. And when I went to the hamper to look for it she was gone. I've checked everywhere. I yelled so loud at her" He whispered his voice cracking at the end.v"She was completely out of it" He teared up and I brought him into a hug. I whispered in his ear. "Hey shhh. It's ok. It's alright. It's hard to have an autistic sister. It is a lot of work. You didn't mean to get her that upset. It's ok... It's ok..." I told him.

"Well that was all we needed to know." They said standing up. "We'll go down to the station and help the search team. He shouldn't be alone." They said and left me there on the couch with Alex shaking with every sob he let into my shoulder. We sat here for hours. Then we turned the TV on. That was a big mistake. The news were on and a picture of Gina popped up on screen. 'Georgina Wright is four years old, blonde haired and has blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a green t-shirt with a whale on it and a purple skirt. If you have any informa-' The newscaster was cut of by my flick of the remote. Alex's face had darkened and he was sitting as still as a statue still staring at he screen. Tears welled up in his eyes again. I put my arm around his shoulder and rubbed random patterns into his back while murmuring reassuring things to him. Finally he stood up and said "That's it! I can't just sit around here. I have to look for her." "Ok." I said standing up. I grabbed my coat and we went out to the car.

We were put on a search team going to a park. We turned every single stone in the place but still no Gina. Finally we were sent home. It was almost eleven. I called my dad and he was freaking out! "Dad! Dad! I'm fine. I'm ok!" I explained everything and he agreed to let me stay the night at Alex's. When we pulled up we both got ready for bed. "Alex!" I yelled out through the bathroom door. "Yeah?" He answered. "Can I borrow a t-shirt to sleep in?" I asked. "Yeah sure" he said and tossed a t-shirt with some rock bands logo on it through the crack in the door. "Thanks!" I said and changed in to it. When I was all done I walked out and Alex was just staring at me a slightly sad smile playing at his lips. I shrugged it off and asked "So where do I sleep?" "Uhm I was thinking I would pull a mattress into my room and I would sleep on that." He said. "Oh no! You're sleeping in your own bed." I said. He tried to object but I shut him up. I helped him make up the improvised bed on the floor and lay down in it. It was actually really comfortable. I fell asleep after a few minutes.

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