I was never the girl who ran away from home. Not because I was mad, to scare my mom or dad, or because I let a few friends convince me that I should do it. I just didn't do it. If I was going to be late I let my parents know. That doesn't mean that I was a complete loser, never had fun, or didn't get in trouble because I had my fair share. And because of this in the summer of 98' when I didn't call or come home my mom and step-father were panicked. They did have a reason to be scared though because just a few months before this another girl went missing; Krista Woods. I lived in Salem, Oregon and she disappeared from Seattle, Washington which is just 220 miles and four hours away. Not very far right? Before we start my story you need to know Krista's.
Early April 98' one night on the news they announced a missing girl. Amber Alerts had just began to be planned out two years before and there wasn't much of a protocol quite yet. "A sixteen year old girl has been announced as a missing person tonight by police in Seattle after not being seen or heard from in the last forty eight hours. It is believed that she was taken my force and not disappeared by choice. If you have any news please call the number across the screen." This began a full investigation, they crossed her mother out quickly and shortly after her father, and soon it hit a dead end. She had not mentioned anyone that was threatening her, any boys that scared her, and no weird men that had tried to touch her or cat-called her.
With no another leads the police and family began to organize search parties. A good two hundred people would show up; friends, family, police, firemen, and complete strangers. They would pick places close to her home, where she was last known to be, and essentially anywhere around the vicinity. For two weeks they find nothing which they hoped was a good sigh but the last week of April while looking in some woods near a store she had walked to they found her purse and shoes. Nothing had been taken from the purse but the shoes were a concern. The bottom of the shoes were torn up and it seemed as though she had been dragging her feet. The police said this probably meant that she had put up a fight, dragging her feet to try and prevent whoever from taking her, and kicking around scuffing up the shoes. The shoes also showed something else; some blood. Trying to keep a positive out look for the family they hoped that this was caused from putting up a fight.
Hope wouldn't last very long though. Just a week later a couple driving back from a business meeting saw what appeared to be a young girl on the side of the road off highway five. The wife convinced her husband to pull over for fear that something had happen to her and she would die. Carefully they walked up to the girl asking numerous times if she was okay and needed help when they got no response the man walked closer and realized that it was too late to help her. He told his wife to go back to the car quickly and call nine one one from his business phone. When they arrived and alerted the police a young girls body had been found they immediately came to look. They didn't think that it was Krista until dental records confirmed it. They didn't recognize her because her long blonde hair had been chopped off and stained with blood.
This was no longer a case of kidnap and bring a girl home it was now a murder and there were no leads. The killer had left nothing to trace back no DNA, skin, hair, or sperm. It went cold quick. They said on the news for young girl and women to be careful while out, try to not stay our to late, watch for any odd behavior from men or men with women, and even people that you knew. They also said that they believed that the person who did this lived in California and traveled to Seattle for a victim.
You have to think most of the people who heard this didn't change any part of their life. Girls my age didn't stop going out, attending summer parties, going on dates with guys they hardly knew, and staying out late. But the mass majority of those girls are still alive, graduated, possible married, have children, and I'm dead. So why am I dead? Did I deserve it? Was I being punished? Maybe I was a whore who cheated on the wrong guy. Maybe I did something so terrible that death was the only thing that could equal up. But all that's wrong. I mean I wasn't perfect or an angel but I tried my best. I didn't cheat on anyone I actually hated breaking up with people and most of the time let them dump me. I wasn't that mean girl from the 90's movies that owned the high school and had little minions. I was nice to everyone until they weren't nice to me, I tried to be friends with anyone, never set out to hurt people.
I died because like most other people I believed that bad things happen to other people not me or my family. Before this I think the worst thing that happen to us was my moms car wreck where she sprang her wrist or grandpa passing away. I never stopped and said I'm gonna die shortly after I turn eighteen, never graduate, get married, or have children because of decisions that someone else made. Just like Krista never thought she would be kidnapped, tortured, and never given the chance to really live life simply because it doesn't happen to you but other people.
So when they said be careful I thought oh I'll be fine if anyone ever tried to take me I would beat the hell out of them. I was captain of my high schools cheer leading team, played volleyball, and even soccer. I was sure I could fight someone off.
And now begins my story. We'll start off a few weeks before my birthday.
My mom, step dad, little sister, and myself are eating breakfast before we leave for school. My little sister finished and left the table to go get dressed. Without little ears or her questions they begin to talk about Krista.
"Have they found anything new?" My mother asked my father who was pouring himself another cup of coffee.
"No nothing yet. But I'm sure something will come up." He sits back down and pats my mothers hand.
"I hope so I can't help but feel terrible for her mother and father. I just cannot imagine how awful that would be to go through that."
I stand up from the table and hug my mother before kissing her on the cheek, "I better leave there's a meeting for cheer this morning."
She kisses me back before telling me to be careful and if I need anything call. I walk into the garage and start my car. A brand new Jeep as an early birthday present I'd only had it a week and still just seeing it made my heart race and put a smile on my face. I drove to school just like every other morning and walked to the gym building where we were going to have a cheer meeting that morning. With that over and school about to start I meet up with my boyfriend at the time Christian.
"How'd the meeting go?" He'd asked me pulling me into his arms.
We'd started dating earlier that year after homecoming. My other boyfriend, Ethan, had gone to California for college and it was my first time in high school where I was completely single. Ethan and I had been on and off since my freshman year and his junior year. I would credit him with being my first love but Christian I think was my soul mate. It was always him really. We'd met in seventh grade when he moved here but didn't become friends until freshman year. He'd always told me when you lose Ethan I'll be here. Between Ethan and I dating I dated a few people and went on a couple of dates with Christian. I think that's one of the most disappointing things that I will never know if Christian was the one I should have spent the rest of my life with.
He walked me to class before heading off to his and we went about our daily routine. After school we went to eat and then he went home and so did I. This continued for the next two weeks until June first the last day of school. So began the summer of 98'.
My birthday came and went. We had a small party for my family and then my friend Kate and I planned a birthday party for my friends from school. My parents were going out of town that weekend and said that if I kept it under control and clean up after I could have a party. Kate handled inviting everyone, Christian was in charge of getting the alcohol, and I was to sit back and relax. When the night came I was extremely excited. Almost everyone we invited showed up and things were going well. At nearly twelve the doorbell rang and being the birthday girl I went to answer.
I pulled the door open to see Jack Hyde a man who moved down to the street back in December, "Hello Mr. Hyde. Can I help you?"
"I was just wondering if your parents are aware of what's going on tonight."
"Yes sir. It was my birthday a few days ago and I just wanted to have a birthday party with my friends. Are we being too loud?"
"No, no I just saw a lot of cars and while out back could see a lot of lights on. I wanted to be sure that everything was okay."
"Thank you sir but yes everything is fine and my parents are gonna be home tomorrow morning."
"Okay sweetie then you have a good night and happy belated birthday."
"Thank you Mr. Hyde."
He turned around to walk away but stopped short off the porch before turning back to me, "And Ana; be careful."
I paused briefly from surprise, "Uh I will Mr. Hyde. Have a great night." I shut the door as fast as I could. I remember an odd feeling coming over me. I'd only spoken to him a couple of times and went with my parents one time to take him a pie. But when I got inside I found that Kate wanted me to take some birthday shots and continue celebrating so I put the odd encounter behind me.
The party came to an end around two or three and Kate, Christian, and I began to clean up a little bit. We stayed up till around five cleaning up what we could that night then fell asleep. We woke up the next morning at nine ready to clean again before my parents got home at twelve. The house was spotless when they came back.
"How was last night?" My mom asked after settling in.
"It was good. Mr. Hyde came over."
She turns around to look at me, "Why did he come over?"
"He said he wanted to make sure that everything was okay and that you guys knew I was having the party."
"He's an odd man. Wouldn't you say so Jeff?"
My step-dad chimes in, "He's definitely out there."
"I could tell. As he was leaving he turned around and said Ana be careful."
"I wonder what he meant by that."
"I don't know it kinda freaked me out."
"I'm sure he just meant with the party. Parties can get crazy." Jeff said before going upstairs.
My mom pats my back, "I wouldn't worry about it sweetie. I just think he just doesn't know how to communicate with people well."
With that we dropped the conversation and it was never brought back up. The rest of June goes without a hitch. Nothing odd happening or anything too exciting either. Kate and her parents left for the beach and her brother Ethan and my ex came for the rest of summer from college.
Now you're probably sitting there thinking if everything is so peachy then why aren't you alive. Slow down, slow down. We're getting there. You may not think that things like this matter but trust me; they do in the big picture.
I hope you all enjoyed the first chapter and be sure to let me know you're thoughts! This is the first story like this that I've written so feed back would be greatly appreciated!