The police said there were no leads on Karmen, or any of the others either. I never really took into consideration how the parents felt, having their children being ripped away with out any notice- let alone without an idea why. Karmen and I didn't know each other very well, to me she was just that girl who sat in the back, cracking jokes about what Mrs. Slammstat would say about the "importance of science in an everyday career"- or what have you. To be honest I really don't pay close attention to her bird walks. Who does any way, its only natural sciences -- unless you are planning on being a botanist. Reports on television say that abduction is a hard case to solve anyway, but never this hard. No motives, traces of evidence, nothing. These disappearances haven't just been happening in my town but around the state. Police suspect a team, no, an army of kidnappers just waiting to snatch their next victim. I hear complaints about how each person is random, only the easiest victims. To me it seems they are targeted. In each of the memorials of the victims, something hit me. Each "pawn" to this puzzle has an exceptional talent. Karmin just happened to be one of the best dancers on the east side of the Mississippi River. And the one before her, Jacob, was considered the best football players the coach had ever seen. But what is the purpose of having a diverse group of kidnapped teen agers? Are these criminals trying to create a perfect society? Despite this slightly suspicious attack, I have never been afraid of my own safety. Most of my time has been directed toward other things. Mostly that I am graduating high school in two months. They aren't kidding when they say choosing colleges are just as hard as the actual schooling. But I guess that doesn't matter for the kids who, I have known since 6th grade, won't be there by my side. Won't experience feeling the shiningly smooth cotton ride along their arms, as they reach for the printed parchment bearing their name. Smiling wide for the parents, while adjusting the tassel on the signature graduation caps.
The other day I passed Cynthia's house. She was taken about a month ago after her 18th birthday. We had been friends for a while, but not as close as me and Blaire. Cynthia had always been a floater, sitting with us one day then talking with Karmen like they were best friends. I guess thats why peopled liked her so much, a very friendly soul. I first met the real Cynthia was when I went to the school's debate with a rival high school. She invited me, so as a friend, I went. As soon as I sat down in the dark red velvet chair, I saw Cynthia in her prime. She dominated the stage, using powerful words and strong gestures that demonstrated a characteristic, no one knew she had. Power, passion, and commitment. After she had rightfully won, a swarm of classmates surrounded her commenting on her charisma. At that moment I saw what she could be, what she would have come - a politician. Correction. The best politician this country has ever seen. The only thing that shakes me about this whole scandal is knowing that she may never be a leader, or that the person taking them just doesn't care. Before her it never really meant anything, but after all it did was hit me; hard and repeatedly. That was the start of my jouney.
BBBBBBBBRRRRRIIIIINNNNNGGGG! The sound of the school bell sounded on the shining Friday afternoon. Ever since the disappearances, going home for the weekend wasn't the same as it use to be. I release a heavy sign. Signally another day with heavy dwelling on the uncertainty. I try my hardest to push that aside. With the final triumphant click of my pen, I close my notebook after glancing at the clear white page turning into the solid red of the plastic cover. My hand quickly slid across the cold wooden desk to push the notebook into my backpack laying at my right side. The slow zipping of my backpack causes me to snap out of my routine trance. I push myself out of the the wobbly and creaky chair, I hear laughter in the halls, of people who don't care. Or don't care yet. At this point my soft footsteps toward the door are purely muscle memory. By now I don't think people are really here any more, nothing more of a shell of themselves. As I walk down the clearing halls I feel a slight tap on my right shoulder. My head swiftly adjusts to see the face of the one who wants my attention. But as I turn my head, no one. Suddenly realize it was an old school yard trick, I switch directions. Steadily walking behind me, I see a wide smile placed on a pail face. Blaire's smile quickly fades when she sees my emotionless face. I have always been slightly jealous of Blaire. He bright red hair is always perfectly curled around her perfectly chiseled face. Bouncing with every perky jump. But I guess that is the point of a best friend, relying on each other to make yourself better. But as her bright green eyes shine in my direction I can't help but smile a little.
"There's the Avery I know." She says, lightly bumping me on the shoulder. Everyday for four years we walk home together gossiping about the latest school scandal. But now the scandal is even bigger than us and this school.
"So what's new with you?" I ask. That question is code for, "I don't feel like talking about anything really important because I am afraid of the answer." This cover doesn't really work for Blaire, she knows what really is going on without having to talking about it.
"Have you seen my new painting? The judge at the contest said it really expressed emotions he had never seen. Great right? I was thinking about placing it at the memorial, and presenting it at the vigil. Are you going?"
"That's good, good. Well I don't think I'm gonna go. Just too hard, I will find my own way to mourn."
"You're not going? That's fine, i guess." She sounds disappointed. I try not to look at her. I can't stand to see the disappointment in her eyes."
"Well, what am I supposed to do, Blaire?" Now I feel a flush of anger.
"You're supposed to realize that there is nothing you can do. If she is meant to come back she will. There is always hope. We can give that to her and her family." I can tell she is now, not angry but, scared as well. She is trying to be this light of glimmering hope for me and everyone. But, this has shaken her too. She wants me to be stable support like always, but I don't think I can anymore.
"There has to be something I can do." I stopped abruptly, causing her trip over her own toes. I grit my teeth waiting for her to reply. But she doesn't. My mind goes wild, I try to contain my self but I can't anymore. Not now, not this way. "I will figure this out. Whatever it takes." I point my finger at her. Then I stop on my heels turning toward my neighbor hood. I don't look back at Blaire. I run as fast as I can with a back pack. I can only image what her face looks like. I push the thought back in my mind.
My feet began to ache, as I ran full throttle. I feel my lip begin to quiver, then a single tear rolling down my left cheek. I began to slow down, so I can wipe away the tears clouding my vision. I once read that when the first tear falls from the left eye, it shows pain; psychology claims. And that the right eye means happiness. I pull up my cotton sleeves over my thumb to clear my vision. All of a sudden I get a strange feeling. I let out a small sob as I lift up my head. I swerve my head around to see where I am. I read the street sign.
West Hartford Avenue
One block away from my street. As I turn my head back, to start forward, I swear I see something. I thought I saw a flash of a shadowy figure. But when I look back, nothing. It all seems sketchy. For the first time since the kidnapping, I am afraid. My heart begins to race, I can hear the blood pump throughout my body. I close my eyes and shake my head, then say to my self 'You're ok. Nothing is going to happen. No one wants to kidnap you anyway.' My "encouragement" makes me laugh. As I continue to walk down the street, I can't shake the feeling of being watched. I start to think. I begin to analyze what has been going on, and how it was happening. I recall that this same instance happened in another state about a year ago, and another a year before that. It was moving.
I get lost in deep thought before I reached the threshold of my little, blue suburban home. I take a step back to admire the beauty of my home, something I had never seen before. The light blue paint has been repainted a hundred times before, but always with the same color. The house was different shape, it seemed, to be different on all sides. The sections of the house were all types of geometric shapes coming together to form a beautiful structure. The white wooden double door is to the left, adjacent to the (also white) garage. What attracts my eyes first is the brightly colored glass window, at the tallest dormer. At this distance it is difficult to see what the window depicts. But I know it by heart. I close my eyes, and remember the precisely cut glass pieces. Together they make a scene of beauty.
It's a garden, specifically, a rose garden.
The sky was a pale color of blue.
Laying under the cloudless sky, kneeling in the bright green grass is a girl.
She is beautiful.
She holds the vibrant red rose.
Her eyes are striking, an auroral blue; the color the sky is not.
But the hair confuses you, it is a dark brown.
Not what you find in a stain glass "painting"
But this is not just any old stain glass.
Blaire made that window.
The thought makes me giggle. That doesn't stop a tear falling to the grey pavement. From the right eye this time. When I told Blaire I would do anything, I meant it. However, I needed to think first, get a new view. So I turned to my favorite place to think. I face the tree. This tree was the perfect place to think. Large branches and smooth bark. It hides the top of the double door. When I was younger I used to think that I could spy and protect my family from that one branch. I still go up there, but for different reasons; to think. And this time, was the perfect time.
I walk leisurely toward the tree that has flowing green leave, that send whispers of comforting words. I brush my fingers against the dark ridges in the wood. I stretch my right arm toward the long, thin middle branch, pulling my left arm along, reaching just a little higher. I place my foot among a lower branch. Branch after branch, I climb higher, and higher. I feel a sudden sting of pain in my right forearm, I ignore it and keep going.
I finally reach the perfect branch. It is thick and round, shaded by the swaying leaves. I perch and adjust my body so i can see the door on one side, and the street on the other. I release a big sign, and close my eyes. I try to think of better things. Of what is next. As I drift into a soft sleep, the feeling returns; the feeling of being watched.