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Disappearance and Lightning
I wondered where he was. He wasn’t at school today or yesterday. He would have told me before hand if he was going somewhere or if he felt sick. We had gotten into a big fight the day before he disappeared, but he wasn’t the type to avoid me because of it. And even thought I had started the fight, I was still worried about him. We’ve had the healthy fights, even some close to this fight on the impact scale, and they always had a solution—a hard, confusing solution, but a solution nonetheless. And now tonight would be the third night in a row that I cry myself to sleep.
But I wasn’t going to yet. One day was strange, but two? That wasn’t him. I had to call. “Hello?” a tired, middle-aged man answered the phone.
“Is Chris there?”
He probably hung up as soon as he heard his name. This is what I get for having a boyfriend with hostile parents.
Once again he wasn’t at school the next day. I checked all the usual places afterward: coffee shop, playground, his neighborhood (because I didn’t know exactly which was house his), our spot in the woods, downtown, everywhere. I would have even stopped by the sheriff department, but I knew from the way his dad acted on the phone that that wouldn’t be a good idea and that he was probably fine.
But I wasn’t. I searched the same places the next day after he didn’t show up at school for the fourth day. I stayed out looking where I could until eleven at night. By one, I was in my bed, crying my eyes out.
Obviously the fight was probably worse than I thought it was. I had gotten upset because he hung out with what’s-her-face too much and it seemed like he was losing interest in me. That was a fair reason to be upset, right? So I confronted him—politely, of course. He did seem really mad that I didn’t trust him. In fact, it was the angriest I’d ever seen him, and I’ve seen him extremely angry (but not with me--he had only gotten irritated with me). Because of that I apologized a hundred times and the last thing he said was, “I don’t know. I need to think about this. I just don’t know…” before he had walked away. Maybe the more he thought about it the worse it had gotten to him. I had really screwed up. But how do I fix it when I can’t find him?
The next week went on like that. I was a walking zombie at school and completely hysterical while I searched for him. I ate less and less, I slept less and less, but I worried more and more. Did he run away? Was I sure that he was okay? What if this was his way of breaking up with me?
Even after a year of dating, he never talked about his previous relationships. I knew that he had two girlfriends before me, and I was pretty sure that those relationships didn’t last as long as ours was. I only knew what he let me know about him, and I was perfectly content with that. Unfortunately, I knew him well enough that after a week I knew to stop looking and to just wait.
As time passed since his disappearance, I was acting weirder and weirder. I wasn’t the only one. My mom was especially jumpy; she always was this time of year. Each year it got worse and she never told me why. I guess mid-January just isn’t her time of the year. She didn’t even notice that I had my own problem and she had always been the nosy type.
Two weeks and both my mom and I were completely hysterical for different reasons. My step dad was also going insane, not knowing what to do about the two of us. I felt bad for him, but then again I was the one who had the disappearing boyfriend. I guess the hysteria snapped my step dad by dinner Friday night because both my mom and I were sad, silent, and alert.
“You two are going to die alone if you don’t stop with your stupid crisis! I can’t get anything out of either of you! What the hell happened?”
“Chris is missing.” It took a long, tense pause, but I had finally said it. It was the first thing I’d spoken since the phone call with his dad.
Mom shook her head to show that her situation was something different and she didn’t want to talk about it. My step dad understood and turned back to me.
“What? What do you mean, ‘Chris is missing’? You’ve been like this for two weeks!” Then he realized that he had been missing that whole time. “Oh…. Should I—should I call the police?”
I shook my head violently, threw my fork down, and ran upstairs as tears started streaking down my cheeks.
I left the lights off and ran into my large, pitch black room and flopped down, face-first onto my bed.
I thought about him. Truly thought about him. I thought about looking up into his dark eyes. I thought about hearing his deep voice whisper in my ear. I thought about running my hands through his thick black hair and down to his broad shoulders and along his strong arms. I had messed up. He wasn’t coming back. And I knew after all the time I spent with him that he was my only hope of happiness. I knew it from the first time we met.
The memory that I had reluctantly blocked out for so long came flooding back: the bridge, the cold river, the rain and lightning, and my dad. The yelling, the screaming. He beat me while my mom yelled at him to stop. It was completely chaotic. It had come out of nowhere. He had ripped me out of my deep sleep and hit me. He threw me out of the large house and into the pouring rain in nothing but shorts and a tank-top. I screamed and asked what I did wrong but even with mine and my mom’s protests he still slammed the door in my face. After that I listened as my tears mixed with the rain. I listened to the thumps and slaps and my mother screaming in pain. I tried to yell at him to stop and pounded on the locked door, but it didn’t help. I knew that my mom would die. In that moment I remembered all the other times he freaked out. But he had only done it one night a year. I realized it would never end and only get worse, even though he had everything a man could want: a beautiful wife, a daughter, a nice big house, money, and a great job that he loved.
But I lost all hope. I acted on impulse. I ran into the woods behind our house and followed an overgrown trail. Each cut and bruise stung and ached as I limped my way toward the long-abandoned bridge. By the time I got to it I was soaked and out of control. I climbed over the small wooden railing. I took a deep breath, then let it out before I jumped. The icy water shot through my nerves and took me on a rough journey. I let myself fall to the bottom of the gushing river. I was losing consciousness when something pulled me up.
He carried me onto the bank and lay down next to me. He kept his arms around me and held me tight against his warm body. I cried into his chest, then we both fell asleep there.
The next morning the sun was shining and there were only a few traces of my dad left: the house, mine and my mom’s wounds and injuries, and the divorce papers on the counter that also said that everything goes to my mom and I. The only good thing that came out of it was that I had a boyfriend that didn’t let go of me for 354 days.
I lay there crying on my queen-sized bed for at least ten minutes when I heard the front door burst open and then a crash. I sat up and wiped my tear away even though they hadn’t stopped. I heard more crashes, screaming, two men yelling, then one stopped by a loud thump. Now my mom was screaming and I thought I even heard my name. But that wasn’t important. She was screaming in pain.
I ran down the stairs that over looked our large entry hall and saw nothing at first but flashes of white and red light at first. Then they went away and I found my mom cowering in the corner. She was torn and beat up pretty well, but still conscious. I tried to run to her but was stopped by a man in a black cloak. His face was made up of pure evil and his hand stretched out angrily toward me as he rose, floating on nothing. He went straight up, slowly, powerfully, hungrily. He roared and red light that had the same design as lightning shot out of his finger tips toward me. His dark eyes flashed red, only to turn dark when someone flung out in front of me, to protect me. The man roared angrily again and my hero stood up as the cloaked man lowered himself to the floor. He shot the red lightning at us again, but there was a shield that stopped it. The man tried again, and when he failed he ran toward me; his arms out ready to choke me. He got me. He threw me onto the ground and cut off my air. This time, it worked. The red lightning shot through my body and all I could see was red light. I screamed in pain, but I couldn’t hear it. Then it broke. Not because the creator had wanted to, but because he was forced to by being thrown off me. He tried to shoot his red lightning at the person that had broken his connection with me, but another shield had stopped it. This time the lightning was shot back at its producer and he was shot into unconsciousness on the ground.
I slowly slipped into my own painless peace and the last thing I saw was a tear fall from a dark eye. After everything went black, I could feel the shadow of arms holding me close.