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She Was Sixteen
She was sixteen. She was beautiful.
This day is hard. One year ago everything was so normal. I was a sophomore in high school. I went to parties. I studied hard for finals. I lost my voice at basketball games. I did everything with my best friend. I was normal. We were normal.
That afternoon she was at my house. It was normal. Like everything was. We talked about boys. We talked about girls. We talked about school. Mostly we just smiled a lot.
The day ended like normal. She walked home. At three in the afternoon she went. It was Sunday and we both had chores to finish. Alone, my best friend walked down the street.
She never made it home. I'm not even sure how far she got. I watched her walk down my drive. I watched till she was a few houses down. It was mid day and the ground was hot on my feet. I went inside.
"Can you tell Charlotte to come home, Missy?" It was her mother on the phone. It was hours after she had left.
"What?" I wasn't sure what she meant. I thought my friend had gone to do laundry.
"I am sorry to break it up girls, but it is getting late and I really need her home." She sounded irritated.
"No. She already went home. Long time ago. To clean." My eyebrows tensed on my face.
"Missy, just send her home." The phone clicked off.
She obviously thought I was joking. I was not. I was scared. Where was my best friend? Why isn't she at her house doing laundry?
I walked my neighborhood with growing fear. You know that feeling you have when something is wrong? That feeling over came me. The route Charlotte takes to get home was deserted. Eerily so for our active area.
Two hours passed by the time I turned home. I hadn't found my friend. My house was in view. I started sprinting toward it. Tears came to me so fast. I did not realize I was crying.
My mother was sitting in the front room when I busted through the door. My body went limp onto the floor and I sobbed.
"What?" My mother was scared. She was confused.
"She's gone. She did not go home. But she did." My face was red from crying. I was hysterical. My words did not make sense. They haven't since that day.