Finding You

We played hide and seek in the woods. I was the seeker and she was the hider. She would wait for me until I found her, but the wrong seeker found her first. An ordinary game started turning strange, strange soon became terrifying. There was nothing I could do about it. There was nothing I could do to save her. She was gone. Joe witnessed his sister, Zoella, getting dragged away into a mysterious van. He witnessed the vehicle drive away; he witnessed his sister go. Ever since that day, Joe hadn’t had a single peaceful night. He wanted his sister back; he wanted Zoella back. Joe soon notices a familiar face of the new girl in school, Evangeline. As Joe gets closer to her, he starts to realise something odd. Her past doesn’t add up and Joe is worried it might have something to do with his missing sister Zoella. Will he discover the truth before its too late, or will he risk losing for a second time? ~ For the Salvage Competition ~

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2. Chapter One

I shot up in my bed trembling as the cold air hit my damp back. Sweat formed on my upper lip and brows, making my short hair cling to my forehead. My heart beat hard against my chest, making me hear the sound of pumping blood. I looked around; my eyes had not fully adjusted to my surroundings, but I could make out different shapes that resembles my room.

It was just a nightmare, like the ones I always have. No matter how many times I have the same nightmare, I will never get used to it. That moment was too painful to forget. The moment where my sister was taken away and I couldn’t do anything about it. I witnessed her struggling against those two men. I saw her being dragged into that van. I saw her vanish before my very eyes.

I shook my head, trying to eliminate the memories forming in front of me. It happened seven years ago and I still haven’t moved on. I needed for forget, but within I knew I couldn’t. I couldn’t forget my sister. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't help but feel it was my fault; my fault that I couldn’t save her. My fault that we played that stupid game of hide and seek.

“Joe!” my dad’s heavy voice boomed from down stairs. I wiped the salty tears that escaped my eyes and dragged my legs out of bed.  Sighing, I stood up and faced the window. I pulled the blue curtains apart letting my dull room flood with early morning light. It was time to get ready to get through another day; another day without Zoella.

I went through my usual routine. Taking my towel and clothes, I hoped into the shower. My hot shower usually lasted longer than always intended. It was the place I let go. Letting my tears merge with the droplets of water. Seven years since, and every year it gets harder and harder to cope with. I finally switched off the water. Letting the hot steam settle around me, as wrapped the towel around my waist.

Putting on my t-shirt, a pair of jeans and slipping on my vans, I set off down stairs. It was quiet - as usual. Ever since Zoella went missing, no laughter or chatter was heard around the house. I quietly pushed open the creaky door to the kitchen to spot my parents.

My mum stood by the kitchen counter silently mixing her tea. Her back was facing my way, so I could not see her face. My mother stopped talking to me after my sister went missing. She thought it was my fault that I lost my sister; Zoella was with me at the time. It’s been seven years since she spoke to me, and still counting. It hurt a lot at first, it still does now, but a part of me has accepted her decision.

I pulled back a chair from the kitchen table and placed myself in it. Before me was a plate of toast with strawberry jam. It looked cold and stale, like it was there for quite some time now, but never the less I picked up the slice and ate it. Opposite me was my dad.

My dad still spoke to me, but only briefly. It seemed his actions reflected off my mother’s sometimes. He sat there with his face behind the morning paper, busy reading away. Not once did he put the paper down to look at me, after all, I did lose his one and only daughter.

“Morning Joe.” Dad greeted in a gruff voice.  The paper was still hiding his face. Well, I was grateful he still acknowledged me.

“Morning.” I mumbled. I looked at my empty plate after eating the slice of toast. I felt just like the plate, empty.

If my sister were here, we would have had pancakes for breakfast. There would have been a steaming pile stacked on a plate dripping with maple syrup. One by one each pancake would disappear until there would be one left on the plate. Zoella would look at me with her mischievous smile and sparkling blue eyes. I would look at her in the same way and then we would both launch at the pancake in hopes to get it first.

I shook my head at the happy memory. It would be completely different if she was here. But she isn’t, and never will be. She was gone and it was my entire fault. My dad cleared his throat and put his paper down. He eyed his watched and then looked towards me. I understood his gesture. It was time for me to go to college and if I didn’t want to be late I had better get a move on.

I tucked in my chair and grabbed my coat, before glancing back at my mother. She still stood in the same position, still not looking at me. I hung my head low. “Good bye.” I mumbled walking to the front door. I didn’t expect a reply. I opened the door and walked out closing it behind me.

*

After a long silent walk to college, I finally reached my destination. I walked through the big iron gates to see my busy surroundings. Girls were flipping their hair and gossiping to their best friends. A few guys were messing around with a football. Some people sat on the bench catching up with the homework they were meant to do at home. I however, ducked my head down and walked straight into the building, heading for my locker.

I got out the books I needed for my first lecture and whizzed through the corridors straight to the hall. I knew I was going to be the first one there. I always was, ever since my sister died, I had nothing better to do than to do what I was supposed to. I had lost interest in hanging out with other people. I didn’t like interacting with others; in general I had lost the will to do anything productive with my life.

I reached the hall and opened the door. Without looking up I put my books down in my usual place and sat down. I knew this hall like the back of my hand and in these hours of the morning before college has even started, it was empty. I dug a hand in my bag and rummaged through it in hopes of finding a pen. I had finally found one when it dropped out of my grasp and hit the floor with the slightest sound echoing in the hall. Sighing, I bent down to pick it up when I noticed something odd.

As I bent down I noticed a pair of feet dressed with black ballet flats with tiny pink bows. I blinked once, just to make sure I wasn’t imagining it. I shook my head, but the feet still remained there. Suddenly they started wiggling and I heard a rather feminine voice. “Are you admiring my feet?”

My head shot up as I looked up to a girl. She had beautiful ombre hair; brown at the top and blonde near the tips. It was one up in a nice fish tail plate, quite like how my sister did hers. I remember making videos of her beauty products and hair styles and putting them up on YouTube. I smiled at the memory of when I would walk in when she was doing one of her video’s and embarrass her.

“Um, excuse me?” a girly voice disturbed me from my thought. I looked at the girl in front of me and sat up in my seat. She took a place next to me, smiling. Her lips were coated in the brightest red that matched her deep blue eyes. My sister had blue eyes and she often wore red lipstick. Whenever she kissed my gay friend Tyler, her pretend boyfriend, it always left a mark on his pale cheek.

“Hello?” the girl waved at me, annoyance seeping in her voice. I shook my head and came back to reality. But as soon as I looked at the girl again, I noticed something. Her face was so familiar. My heart started to beat faster. It was her… it was my sister. The girl in front of me looked exactly like my sister; she must be my sister. My Zoella was back!

I automatically placed my hands on her shoulders and pulled her close. She felt like my sister, she felt like my Zoella. “Zoella! I missed you so much I…” I trailed of when I realised the girl I was hugging started struggling against my chest muffling what she was trying to say. I let her free of my tight grip and stared back at her. She had an annoyed look on her face. The creases on her forehead were in the exact same place!

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