Danielle watched out the living room window the next morning, waiting for Kevin to arrive. Her mother had already left for work. As soon as she’d heard the garage door close, Danielle had turned on the television and started flipping through the channels until she’d found a station talking about the abductions. The number had increased over night. Twenty-seven teens had been reported missing from various states. Even the news anchor seemed to have no clue why they were all being linked together. But the FBI was involved. And even news stations knew that had to mean something big.
Danielle clutched her bookbag to her and leaned closer to the window to peer down the street. No sign of Kevin yet. She glanced at the clock above the television.
Five minutes to seven.
She watched the sidewalk in front of her house.
A few kids about her age walked by, headed towards the high school. They were laughing and talking, oblivious to the sense of danger Danielle had felt all night. Even with her mom quietly snoring in the room next door, and Danielle getting up several times to check the locks on the doors and windows, she had still felt it.
A green pickup truck rolled slowly by.
She turned away from the window and plopped down on the couch. She let her bookbag fall to the floor. She watched the top open, and several pens rolled out of the bag onto the floor.
She focused on one of the pens.
She watched it slowly, shakily rise until it was level with her eyes. She reached out, blinked, and it fell into the palm of her hand.
She continued to focus on the pen.
It rose again, a little less shaky this time. She watched it spin in the air once, twice, three times, and then slide gracefully back into her bag. She turned her attention to the other pens. One by one, she watched them rise up and slip into her bookbag. Then, she watched the flap of the bookbag close and the bag rose until it was seated on the couch next to her.
This was so cool.
She smiled to herself and turned to look out the window again.
Two girls that she recognized as seniors at her school walked by. The brunette was chattering away while the redhead looked ahead in a daze.
It’s like she never stops talking. She doesn’t even care about anybody besides herself. She hasn’t once asked me about my night. She can only talk about two things: herself and Carlos. Who cares? What about ditching your supposed-best friend at a stupid frat party? What about asking how the hell I got home last night? I want to just punch her.
Danielle turned back towards the living room. Listening to the redhead’s thoughts had filled her ears. The silence of the house swallowed her, and she felt even more alone.
She got the distinct feeling she was being watched.
The clock said it was just after seven. Where was Kevin?
She turned and looked out the window again.
A green pickup truck rolled slowly by.
Then, out of the corner of her eye, she saw Kevin. His eyes seemed to be following the green pickup truck. Once it was out of site, Kevin turned and headed to the front porch of Danielle’s house. She heard him knock at the door. She grabbed her bookbag and headed to the front door.
When she swung the door open, Kevin was watching the street behind him.
“Morning Kevin.” She smiled. The feeling of loneliness dissipated as she felt the house release her.
Kevin turned and smiled, “Morning Elle. How was your night?”
Danielle locked the front door and they headed towards the school. Again, his hand felt strange yet safe in hers.
“I didn’t sleep well, to tell you the truth.”
“Me neither. I was up half the night reading up on the abductions.”
“Really? I caught a little bit of it on the news this morning.”
“Yeah. I was reading a few websites that have some theories about what’s going on. One blogger has already written up a detailed investigation into the first couple of teens. Linking their stories together. There’s a lot of…speculation…about why the FBI might be involved.”
“What do you mean?”
Danielle felt Kevin’s hand tighten around hers as the green pickup truck rolled slowly by.
A shiver ran down her spine when she noticed there was no license plate.
Still, she knew it was the same truck she’d been seeing all morning.
“Kevin,” her voice dropped to a whisper, “That’s the third time I’ve seen that truck this morning.”
“It passed me three or four times while I was walking to your house. The windows are tinted enough that I can’t make out anything other than an outline of the driver.”
“Maybe they’re just lost?” But even she knew it felt like something much more sinister.
“Come on.” Kevin’s pace quickened and Danielle struggled to keep up. She saw the concentration in Kevin’s face. She wanted to know what he was thinking. What he had learned during his research last night. But she kept out of his mind. It still felt incredibly invasive. Even with the redheaded girl. She didn’t know the girl, but she knew how she felt about her best friend. It felt wrong.
By the time they reached the school, the truck had passed them one more time. They’d watched it turn the corner in front of them. Two blocks before the school.
“I have a request.” Kevin said as they reached her locker. Kevin’s was around the corner from hers, but he stood with her as she traded books and binders until she had the right ones in her bag for her first two classes of the day.
“What’s that?” She closed her bag and looked up at him.
“Don’t go off campus today. At all. Stay in the crowds when going to class. Meet me here at lunch. Be paranoid.”
“Why Kevin? What do you think is going on? What did you read on that website?”
Kevin leaned closer to whisper in her ear. To anybody else, it would have looked like they were sharing an intimate moment. Danielle felt a butterfly in her stomach as she thought about their classmates seeing them together like this.
“There are reports of other teens like you. Every one of the teens abducted or missing? Apparently has some sort of…power. It’s all theory right now. Obviously nobody can know for sure.”
Danielle turned her head so she was looking at Kevin. It seemed so strange for their faces to be so close. She nodded, “I’ll be careful. I promise.”
“Good.” He backed away, “I’ll see you at lunch then.” He flung his backpack over his shoulder and disappeared around the corner where his own locker was. Danielle followed a small crowd of people to her first class.
All the while, she felt as if she were being watched.
For more of this story, visit my Fiction page.