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the thunder shakes the house. i can literally feel the floorboards vibrating under my bare feet. i check my watch, its four o’clock. i pad into the kitchen and grab a mug from the cupboard.
“solomon?” i call my brother. he’s one and a half years older than me-sixteen-and spends every waking moment in his room or driving around in his car. no one actually knows what he does up there, and no one really cares. not that mom is ever home enough to care. and dad...well, he’s dead.
maybe he cares, deep down in his grave or up in heaven or where ever he is. i shiver. he was killed exactly one year ago on this day at exactly 4:18a.m. by two masked men. the police were almost positive that the men had been after solomon, and my dad had tried to protect him. my dad was in their way, so they shot him smack in the temple. the neighbors heard the shot, and called the police. by the time they got there, my father was dead.
stupid slow police men. lightning shrieks through the sky as i picture my dad. i’m so mad i want to hurt something, but i don’t. i realize that solomon hasn’t answered me yet.
“solomon!” i bellow. he ought to hear that. i pour water into the mug and put it in the microwave for a minute and a half. when it beeps, i jump. where the heck is solomon? i tell myself not to panic. if those masked men had gotten into my house and shot my brother, i would have heard them. as i head upstairs i see the newspaper article framed on the wall, a reminder. it states my father’s death and all the clues they know about the two men, the killers. the police had looked and looked for the men, but with my father dead they didn’t’ have any clue who they could be, or what they wanted.
all they knew was that they wanted my brother.
and now, one year later, those disgusting,
horrible, stupid, evil men...
...are still on the loose.
i continue up the stairs and walk into solomon’s room. four important, bad things hit me hard. one...the door is open. two...he’s not here. three...his phone is lying on his bed. four...the window is open and the screen is missing. i look out the window, almost in tears, wind whipping through the room and rain slapping my hair.
five. his car...is still in the drive way. he never goes anywhere without his car. never. i can’t help it. i start sobbing. i have to do something, but i can’t think...i can’t think straight.
“solomon!” i scream, really scream out the window. the wind carries away my voice. only one of solomons friends knows every detail about my dad’s death, knows everything about it. i run to solomons phone. Before I do anything, I notice the time and shriek at the top of my lungs.
I’m screaming and sobbing and panicking and i go to his contacts...
he happens to be the one of solomons friends that i am kind of in of in love with. but he doesn’t know it.
“lo?” he picks up smoothly.
“mike? it’s me, caroline.” i mumble.
“oh, hey caroline. where’s solomon?”
“i don’t know.” i explain to him everything that just happened, and he promises he’ll drive right over. i still don’t know what to do. there’s nothing else i can do until michael gets here, i say to myself quietly.
michael pulls into the driveway and runs to the door, hiding from the rain in his sweatshirt. he doesn’t say anything, just runs straight to my house phone and dials the police. i can’t help noticing how comfortable he is in my house. after talking in the phone for a few minutes, he collapses on the couch.
“there on their way.” he says. he pats next to him on the couch, and i go and sit down. he looks into my eyes and it makes me self conscious. i feel like i can see into his soul, and he can see into mine. i’m afraid for a minute that he can see right to my heart, see how much i love him.
he whispers my name, and my heart skips a beat.
I never pictured it to be like this, I never meant for it to happen.
He leans in, and he kisses me.
5 years later
(solomon was never found, and presumed dead after one year of his kidnapping. michael and caroline dated for four years until he proposed to her.)
it’s the day of my wedding, and my father isn’t here walk me down the aisle. i‘m wearing my dress, and the flower girls and bridesmaids just started walking down the aisle. all of a sudden, someone’s strong arm links through mine. i turn to see my brother standing beside me.
i’m about to scream, but he puts his hand over my mouth and nods.
“how?” i ask when he removes his hand. now he shakes his head.
i start to cry, hot tears burning through my makeup. i can’t believe it. my brother, after all these years, is alive.
how did he know where I was?
how is he here?
how is he alive?
where has he been?
He takes me, and walks me down the aisle. our mother passes out when she sees him. everyone else gasps, or sits down, or starts to cry. i’m sure that they’re all thinking the same question as me...