I ran up to a dark, tall man with dark glasses and a dark suit on and pounded him on the back. He turned around with an annoyed expression on his face.
“Whats going on?” I asked trying to speak in a respectful tone. “Excuse me?”
He glared at me getting even more annoyed. “Whats going on here! Why is everyone freaking out? What happened?” I said in a slightly less patient tone.
“Ma’am, an investigation is taking place here, I suggest you move along and stay out of the crime scene.”
I looked straight up and him and demanded “I need to know whats going on! This is my house! My mother was in there! What happened?! Where is my mother?! Where is she?!” At this point I was almost screaming at the man. Water began to pool in my eyes and drip down my face as I looked to him for an explanation.
Without warning he firmly grabbed my arm and began to pull me towards the side of the house. I tried dragging my legs and pushing on him but he didn’t turn around and didn’t let go until we reached a quiet area. “What are you doing with me? All I wanted was an explanation!” I said to him furiously.
“Shhhh. Shhhh be quiet please just sit down here,” he motioned to the grass and took a seat. I followed. I settled down a bit and looked at him as he removed his glasses and looked me in the eye. He looked like he could be around his 40s maybe even 50s. He had dark brown eyes and had almost a gentle look to him without the glasses.
“You were her daughter?” He asked softly and calmly and looked at me with a sad expression. It was then that I realised something must have happened. I looked down at the grass and cried, but softly this time. He shuffled towards me and carefully spoke in a steady voice. “Do you want to know what happened?”. I nodded my head straight away.
“Are you sure?” He spoke again. I nodded again and he sighed.
“Your aunt Cindy came by today to check on your mother. She said she knocked on the door but no one answered so she let herself in and came across a note that somebody had left on your bed…” “My bed?” I interrupted. He sighed again and nodded. “What did it say?” I asked hesitantly. “Nothing really bad, its almost empty. Would you like to just see for yourself?” He asked me sympathetically. I nodded
“Yes, please, if I could thank you.” He nodded and stood up. He helped me up, took my hand and led me past the police tape and into the house.
He showed me to my bedroom, as if I couldn’t find it myself. I saw the note laying on my bed and looked back at him trying to force a smile.
“Could I have some time to just read it myself?” I asked softly.
“Theres not much to read, but sure. Take your time.” He replied and then turned to leave the room.
“Sir,” I stopped him and he turned to look at me. “Thank you sir, I’m Azura, by the way.” I said softly with a cordial smile.
“Its my pleasure, and I’m Agent Moore, but please, call me Sterling.” I nodded and he left. I turned my attention to the crisp white note, neatly folded in the center of my bed. I cautiously picked it up and unfolded the creases before seeing the world written neatly in bold letters in front of me.
DON’T WORRY. YOU’RE MOTHER IS SAFE, I WON’T DO HER ANY HARM. HOPEFULLY, IF MY PLANS PERMIT, WE WILL SEE EACH OTHER SOON AND YOU WILL SEE YOUR MOTHER AGAIN. PLEASE BE AS CALM AS YOU CAN.
My hand trembled as I read over the letter over and over again trying to make sense of the words in front of me.
The letter seemed to be meant to calm me but it did anything but that. I fell back on my bed trying to comprehend everything that had just occurred.
I felt the pain of my negative emotion, helplessness, kick in as I started breathing quickly, tears pouring out of my eyes and down my face. I looked up at the mirror beside my bed and saw my eyes glowing brighter than the moon, I watched teal climb across a few strands of my hair creating a soft streak.
I sighed and tried to calm myself down a little bit.
The letter contained some hope, some hope of my mother being taken care of, maybe even better off; but, then, there was always the alternate possibility. I heard the door swing open and I gasped from shock and looked over quickly.
“Hey how are you-WOAH”.
I saw the face of Sterling in the door frame as a look of worry crossed his face as he shut the door and rushed over to me.
“Azura, you’re an…” I looked down in shame realizing he must have seen my hair streak.
“We need to get that dyed back to your normal colour, Azura, look at me, you must settle down, your eye colour must go back to normal, you need to get new contacts in. You must get back to normal before one of the other agents of officers see.”
I looked up at him confused. “Why does it matter? You’ve already seen, the worst that can come now is just humiliation at school, but I’ll probably drop out now anyways, after this, whats the point anymore?”
He shook his head quickly and spoke up “It doesn’t matter that I know, I won’t tell okay just clean up quick, trust me, you don’t want them seeing, public humiliation is not the worst possibility. Hurry, where do you keep your other contacts? Those ones will be burnt through.”
“In the drawer on your right…” I replied warily. “Why do you even care?” He looked over at me and handed me some new contacts and some hair dye from the same drawer.
“Just trust me. The government wants any ignios that they can get their hands on right now and currently you’re surrounded by the government’s greyhounds. No more questions now please just get cleaned up.”
I nodded and applied the hair dye onto my streak which absorbed it quickly and blended back into my other hair. I took out my contacts, which did indeed have a hole burnt in the center, and put the new ones in concealing my identity once again. I looked up at him and he gave me a small smile. He leaned down and quietly whispered to me.
”Okay heres whats going to happen. Police can’t find any evidence that they can use, so they should clear the crime scene for you to continue living her by later tonight. I suggest you take my advice very seriously. You can take a day off tomorrow if you need but I suggest you get back into school as soon as you can and try and live a normal life and continue appearing normal. Our teams will be doing what the can to investigate, but the note suggests that he, or she I guess, could try and contact you again. Until then, hide your emotions in public, and do everything possible to keep your identity hidden for now. I’m taking it upon myself to help watch over you, don’t ask why, but if you need anything, here is my card with all of my contact details.”
He flipped a card into the palm of my hand before walking back into the investigation. I peered down at the card that was now in my possession. It had his name, number, and email address printed neatly across it along with a physical location where he could be found. I sat there in the empty room contemplating my thoughts for what seemed to be the longest time.
I finally decided to return to school the next day and try to live my life the way Sterling had suggested.
The house finally cleared out and I was able to lock up the house and lie in my bed. I stared at the ceiling. My bed was no longer comfortable, I no longer felt safe in between my sheets. I felt at risk, lost, alone, and vulnerable.
I was caught up in my worries and fears, my thoughts were spinning in circles in my head before finally I fell asleep.