It’s funny how you think you know something so well and grow up thinking that that’s how it’s going to be for the rest of your life and nothing will change. It only takes seconds for it all to go downhill and everything you’ve worked so hard for and all those memories and beliefs don’t matter anymore they’re gone. You don’t know who you are or where you are or how it even started… the past all just fades away.
I try to live a good life or as people say Y.O.L.O, I’m not going to be 15 forever. I might as well live when I have the chance. I mean, I have it good. I get good grades, I live in a beautiful neighborhood with beautiful people. I live in a small town school in Elmswood, Nebraska on Drury Street. The thing is there is this really cute guy, Carter Smith. He lives next door but everyone knows he’s way out of my league seeing that he’s three years older and team captain for the soccer team. I’m heading into high school and I’ll be a freshman and he’ll be a senior so I will see him way more often. But enough about my love life. I need to focus on school and put all my effort towards school purposes.
“Aubrey get up! It’s seven thirty!”
” Mom, why didn’t you wake me up?”
” I thought you set your alarm?”
” I did but it didn’t go off.”
” That’s weird. The power must have gone out last night. It must have messed up your alarm.”
Ugh it didn’t matter anymore I’m going to be late on the first day of school. This is just great. I threw on some clothes, brushed my teeth, brushed out my curly brown hair, grabbed an apple and ran our the door. I was able to finish my apple before the bus got to my driveway so I threw it off to the side and got on the bus. I hate taking the bus usually my mom would bring me but she has a meeting this morning. I already know it’s hot in there because I can already smell the sweat and body odor coming off everyone inside. It’s crowded. Really crowded. There’s paper and food flying everywhere. Kids are jumping and screaming and bragging about the new clothes and toys they got this summer. We finally arrive at school. I see lots of familiar faces and some not so much. I’m looking around hoping to spot Carter, then I see these big blue eyes. That’s him. He’s walking with a group of his friends he is laughing about something which makes him so much more attractive. We walk by each other and he doesn’t even look at me he doesn’t even know I exist. I’m walking by him with a huge smile on my face looking like an idiot and he doesn’t even notice what a great start to my day. I have a crush on him like a twelve year old would have on Justin Bieber. From that moment on my first day went terribly slow. The week went by and it’s now Sunday night and I see that he is online so I message him without having any clue in what I’m doing. It takes a few minutes for him to reply. Was he processing it? Does he think I’m one of those annoying little kids? Does he even want to talk to me? So many thoughts were rushing through my head at once. As I’m talking to him I’m being as carful as I’ve ever been. I don’t know what he’s like or how he will react to what I’m saying to what he’s thinking. I have to say this guy is driving me crazy!
I think it’s going well, I mean he’s, still talking to me anyway. The more I talk to him the more I fall in love with him. I know people say I’m too young to know what love is but I’m pretty sure this is what it feels like. Every second it’s him that’s on my mind, it’s always him that comes first, I just wish it was the same for him.
Its Saturday morning and I wake up by a huge “bang!” I hear my dad yell to my brother, “Call 911!”
My eyes were no longer half open, they were wide awake. I jumped out of bed ran to the door as I could feel the things on my messy floor break under my feet. I ran out to see what was going on. My first thought was that someone fell down the stairs and they would have to hurt themselves badly to have my dad yell to call 911, so at that point I’m so scared I’m almost crying. I run out and my dad’s looking out the window and I see this huge, red flash in the corner of my eye. Then I realize my neighbor’s house is up in flames.
My dad had just finished his knee surgery and him running down the hill to my neighbor’s scared me senseless. I can tell by the way he is running and the look in his face that he is in a lot of pain and that his knee shouldn’t feel the way that it feels. Seeing him run is putting more stress on me and I already have to stay and calm down my little brother who’s crying. I hate seeing people cry it always makes me cry too, like when a character on a tv show is making a face and you’re making it too and you don’t even realize.
My dad makes it down the hill safe. He’s still in a panic to make sure no one is in the building and even if there was it would be too hot for him to go in anyway. My brother and my dad are on the other side of the house now so I can’t see them. It’s killing me not knowing what’s going on. Me and my younger brother sit on the front porch and watch the house fall apart as it burns. It takes about a half an hour for the fire rescue to show up. By then the half of the house is gone and I can feel all of those memories that were made in that house and they all just fade away. Two hours have gone by and they are still trying to put the fire out. The trucks ran out of water so they had to find the nearest pond which is about a mile away from the house so they can collect water.
There is an old couple that lives in that house, Mildred and George Harrison. They had a son named Christopher but he ran away after he dropped out of high school. I have only seen him once but I was little. No one knows where he went and why he left. It was one big mystery. He was a great kid, he was raised right, he had lots of respect and support from other parents and teachers and he just threw it all away.
No one really knows what started the fire. They think it was a gasoline tank that was too old and just exploded. Well that’s what the police are saying anyway. Right after the fire was put out they started tearing the house down, it’s just one big junk pile. You can still see valuable possessions that wasn’t burned by the fire. We didn’t see Mildred or George until the next morning when they were sorting out the stuff that wasn’t burned and what they could and couldn’t keep. We went down to go talk to them and ask them if they had a place to stay it turned out that George had bought a house in the next town over and they were going to move anyway.
About a week or so has gone by and there is still a huge pile in the yard. It’s so different not seeing a house there I grew up watching that house develop and know a piece of my childhood is missing. I can’t imaging how Mildred and Ruth feel. They also have a sugar house and a shack that are still standing so they look forward to that. We never really see them anymore. We seem to always miss them when they come to sort the pile. We are always off doing who knows what.
It’s about 11:30 on Tuesday night and my dog starts barking and wakes up the whole house of course I get up to see what she’s barking at.
“Charley it’s just a car, calm down.”
It was weird seeing a car at the bottom of the drive way this late at night but I’ve seen it before so it didn’t really surprise me. I went back to bed and Charley eventually stopped barking.
School is going great and Conner and I have been talking a lot lately, like everyday for hours. He has said the cutest little things to me but I don’t know if they mean anything. I hope I see him tomorrow at school so we can talk about things and decide what we are going to do with our friendship. I’m going to probably make the mistake of telling him that I’m in love with him and then he won’t know what to say and he will never talk to me again because what senior would ever go out with a freshman.
This morning is different, every little thing is setting me off and I’m just so tired and stressed out about Carter and the fire. My dad told me to not let it get to my head but I can’t help it, it’s too much to think about. I need to know what Carter thinks. I really wish I could read people’s minds.
The day is over and I have not seen Carter. Is he avoiding me? Is he sick? I knew it was to good to be true.
As I’m walking out of school someone touches me on the arm and as I look behind me someone’s lips meet mine one hand grabs the side of my face and the other grabs my waist and pulls me in closer. At that moment I realized it was Carter Smith kissing me in front of the whole school. Everything in my head just disappeared, I was lost in the moment. For once all my pain and stress left my body and I felt like we were the only two human beings on earth. We both pull away amazed at what had just happened. Let’s just say from that moment on I was the happiest girl on planet earth. When I got back home I didn’t say anything to my parents. I’m still in shock. They eventually got curious and asked me what happened and they couldn’t be more happy for me. Only Mom and Dad were at the house because my brothers had soccer practice after school. The three of us went out to eat and at the restaurant we saw Mildred and George. We went over to them to talk to them. We talked for twenty minutes about their new place. Then she brought up a topic that caught my attention. Apparently people have been stealing from their sugar house and breaking the things that didn’t burn in the fire. The worst part is Mildred kept all of the memories from Christopher’s childhood in that sugar house and someone took them. Who would do that and why would someone want to take them? Then I remembered that car that was parked at the bottom of the driveway that Charley was barking at but I couldn’t remember what the car looked like. I told Mildred and George about it and they told me to keep a look out and if I see any cars to call them ASAP.
I wasn’t feeling good the next morning so I stayed home while the rest of the family was either at school or work. I finally got to sleep in and I felt so much better because I had time to process what had happened to Mildred. Around twelve o’clock I saw a van parked in Mildred’s yard, the same van I saw the other night. I walked outside to get a closer look at the license plate and I saw the guy standing next to the sugar house. I’m squinting at him and I start to pull out my phone and I think he much have known what I was doing because at that moment he ran to his van and drove away as fast as he could so it was hard for me to read his license plate. I have to say it freaked me out a little and I was jumpy for the rest of the day I couldn’t wait for my family to get home so I wasn’t by myself.
My family finally gets home and I feel a little more safe, but still a little spooked. I told my dad about what happened earlier that day, he told me that I did what I should have done and that he told me he won’t come back because we know what he looks like. So I’m glad I have nothing to worry about. I’m hoping by tomorrow I will be feeling better so I can see Carter. I don’t want him to think I’m not going to school because of him. I text him throughout the day when he has the time and he knows that I’m going to respond quick because I have nothing to do. I’m watching tv and I start hearing this rattling sound, I didn’t know what it was so I turned off the tv and kept listening but the sound went away so I turned the tv back on. After a few minutes I start to hear it again and I swear it was louder this time, it sounds like it’s coming from downstairs. So I turn off the tv again and be as quiet as I can and I still hear nothing, so for the second time I turn on the tv and I know its just in my head and I walk to the kitchen to get myself some medicine for my headache and a glass of water. I’m on my way back to the living room and as I pass the basement door which we have a cat door so the cat can get down stairs, a man’s hand grabs my foot and throws me off my step and I trip.
The glass is shattered all over the floor and I’m trying to get away, cutting every part of my body. His hand is slipping and I’m so close to escaping. I’m screaming and kicking as hard as I can, but what’s the point I know no one can hear me. He takes out a pocket knife and slits my ankle so I can’t run. I get a glance of his face before he gives me chloroform and I black out.
It’s dark, really dark and it smells like dirty clothes that have been in a wet bag for five weeks. I can’t move my arms or legs, they are tied up, but I know I am in a car because I can feel the wheels under me as I keep rocking back and forth every time we hit a pot hole in the road. I try to scream but there is a cloth in my mouth to keep me from doing so. Who would do this to me? Out of all people, why me? Maybe it was just a bad dream and none of this is really happening. I mean I was just a normal girl and it happened so fast there is no way this can be real.
I am all cut up from the glass and I was so weak from trying to restrain him from taking me. At that moment I had no more fight in me. I started to break down, tears were pouring down my face. I was thinking about my family and if I was ever going to see them again. What about my friends and Carter? The car finally comes to a stop. I assume the car is a van because it takes him longer to get to the back of the car to open the doors than it would be for a regular car. He pulls me out of the van with great force and throws me over his shoulder. He takes me into a building, a small building that looks like it’s abandoned. The doors squeaked as they open and the floor boards creak under his feet. He takes me into a small room where he ties me up to a twin size bed frame with no mattress. The bed frame is really old. I can tell by the rust on the vertical metal beams that are at the top of the bed (which I’m tied too). He sits on the ground across from me. He smells of cigarettes and his clothes smelt like wet dog. I can finally get a close look at him, he has blue eyes with short dirty blonde hair. He looks like he is in his late twenties, he has one of those familiar faces but I can’t quite get my finger on it. He hasn’t yet spoken to me, he hasn’t told me why he has done this to me and what he’s going to do.
“Why did you bring me here?”
Still no reply.
“Can you speak? Please tell me why I’m here and what are you going to do to me?”
He leaves the room and comes back with a stack of papers, they were old news papers.
“What are those for? What’s your name? Why did you take me here?”
“You ask a lot of questions.” He finally replied, his voice was deep and raspy.
“You don’t answer many, and what do you expect from someone you just kidnapped.”
He set the stack of papers next me.
“Here’s a blanket, now go to sleep.”
“Really? You think I’m going to be able to fall asleep? Why are you asking like this is nothing?”
“Because it is nothing, now go to sleep!”
He left the room without saying anything else and that time I didn’t reply. I had a hard time falling asleep, especially being tied up like that. My mind was all over the place I had to much to think about. My family, Carter, Mildred and Ruth came across my mind but what was really on my mind is what the reason of this is for. Then it comes to me, the van is the same van that I saw the other day in Mildred and Ruth’s yard. He didn’t want me to tell the Harrison’s and he knew I was getting on to him, so he took me away before I could tell anyone. But why did he have to kidnap me? Robberies happen all the time, why is this one such a big deal?
It must be seven thirty in the morning when I heard the door open because light was shining through the window. I wake up quickly and turn and face him wondering what he’s going to do to me.
“Please don’t kill me, just let me go I won’t tell anyone.” I’m starting to feel very nauseated, like some him thick is stuck in my throat.
“Calm down I’m not going to kill you I brought you some food I thought you’d be hungry.”
“Oh thank god.” I whisper to myself.
“Here it’s just bread, it’s all I have here.”
I have manners and I really wanted to say thank you but I’m not sure if I wanted to, I have no reason to.
“I will be back later, and don’t yell for help because no one will hear you, just trying to save you energy. What the hell, I’ll just tape your mouth shut.”
I hear him get in his van, start it then drive away. I wait for a couple minutes to make sure that he is gone. I look around to try to find anything sharp to cut the rope with. Nothing. I’m feeling the side and bottom of the bed to try to find any lose metal that I can use, nothing. He really cleaned this place out.
Hours went by and the day got hotter,the heat made me grow more and more frustrated. I kept trying to escape and fight back but I couldn’t get my hands out of the knot.
He didn’t come back until the next morning, and this time he didn’t bring me breakfast. He seemed really pissed off at something, I was to afraid to ask. He brought me out into the kitchen, untied my hands and told me to make myself something to eat. Did he just untie my hands? Does he really trust me? I hesitate more a moment. I’m still processing through my mind as I look in the cuboard for food. I only find three pieces of bread, the same kind he gave me yesterday and canned fruit. I can’t find any plates or silverware so I just eat it out of the can. After I was done eating he tied my hands up and brought me out to the van.
“Where are we going?
“Just get in.”
It wasn’t long before we got to where we were going. The second I got out of the car I could smell the fish, we were at a lake. The board walk takes us out to a little blue house that is literally on the lake. The house only only has three rooms, the kitchen, living room and a bedroom. Of course he puts me in the bed room where it’s farthest away from the door.
“What’s your name?”
“My names Blake, Blake Rivers.”
“Why are we here Blake?”
“It’s more safe here.”
“More safe from what?”
“It’s none of your business.”
He was getting a little more heated, I could hear it in the tone of his voice, I back down before it gets a worse. He takes out his wallet and puts it in the night stand to which I’m sitting next to. He left the room, I have no clue why. I can see his I.D is sticking out of his wallet and I grab it to find more out about this guy. I’m speechless, the name says Christopher Harrison. Maybe it’s not him maybe he stole this wallet but no there it was with his picture. I can’t believe this I have to tell someone, I have to tell Mildred but how? Why would he put his wallet right next to me, with his I.D sticking out? Was he not thinking or did he want me to know? Then I remember Mildred and Ruth telling me stories about their little blue lake house, this must be where we are. But why would he bring me here? It was like he wanted me to find out, was I just a part in his little plan? But what is the plan exactly? So I ask him.
“Why did you do it Chris? Why did you run away?” He didn’t reply, I asked him multiple times before he gave me an answer.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
“Well why not?”
“I ran away because my dad beat me.” And he was right I didn’t believe him but something inside me was telling to. Well that would explain him burning there house down and taking their stuff. But I still had one unanswered question.
“So why did you have to kidnap me?
“I kidnapped you because you are a piece of my childhood, I remember seeing you play in your yard with your little toys. I wanted that, I didn’t really have a great childhood and I’m trying to get that back. That’s why I took all those pictures in the sugar house. I want my life back. I want to be happy.”
I got late and there was no power working in the lake house so he lit candles and put them around the house. I know he was trying to get something of his mind because he was drinking one beer after another. Around his fifth beer he was already drunk, he was having a hard time standing up straight, he was running into walls and knocking over everything that came into a three foot distance from him. The beers kept flowing and there he was on his eighth beer and he was, wasted.
“You should lay down.” I tell him hoping he won’t become violent with me, and he actually listens to me. He trips over the table stand as he walks to the couch knocking it over, and on the table was a lit candle.
The candle catches the rug on fire and the fire is growing rapidly and there is nothing I can do. I’m still tied up.
“Get up the house is on fire! Please get up!” I’m screaming at the top of my lungs, the smoke is making it hard for me to breathe. He’s not getting up he is way to intoxicated. The knot that’s holding my hands together is loose and I manage to slip out of it. I run to the kitchen to try to find a pen and paper, I write to Mildred telling her that her son is Blake Rivers. The fire is getting to hot so I need to get out of the house before it collapses over me. I’m hopping as fast as I can, the rope is still tied around my foot and it would take to much time for me to untie them. I’m almost out the door and a huge board falls and hits my shoulder I fall out the door onto the board walk and I still have the note in my hand, I manage to get the note on the board walk a couple feet away from the house before I fall into the water. My body is weighing down and my arms aren’t strong enough to keep my body above water. I’m drowning, this is really happening but Im not freaking out for some reason, I’m not scared. I’m calm, just letting my body float to the bottom of the lake I can’t, and won’t fight back. I feel as if time stopped and it’s just me and my thoughts floating to the bottom of this lake. So the question is why did “Chris” do it? Why is he taking out his anger in innocent people? Why did he run away? Why did he treat his parents like this? Did something So here I am not knowing who I am or where I am or how this even started… the past all just fades away.
It’s been a week and I still haven’t heard from Aubrey, I knew the second that she didn’t text me back that day she stayed home that something was up. The whole town is looking for her and I can’t get her off my mind. I’ve never been this depressed. I miss her and the stuff we talk about. I miss her smile and the dimples in her face. I love how she snorts when she laughs. I miss her more than anything. I will fight for her.
This weekend I’m going to my grandparents lake house and maybe that will get my mind of of Aubrey. It’s a 20 minute drive to the lake house so I just listen to music to kill time. We arrive at the house and I’m so excited, the last time I was here was when I was really little. My grandparents are really good friends with everyone at the lake so we decide to walk around and visit old friends. We walk by this house that looks like it just burnt down. So we go check it out. As I walk closer to the burned house I see a note I can make out some of the words. I’m having a hard time reading one word. I can make out an A, B, R, and Y. Aubrey.