The large, seven letter word seemed to mock him as it stood plastered across the top of a large poster, the letters exaggerated in bold, printed in bright red print in hopes of getting attention from those walking or driving by.
Her picture had been printed under the word, and he doubted that he had the strength to look at it.
Three days. That's how long she had been gone. Seventy-two hours without hearing her voice. Seventy-two hours without looking into the crystal blue of her eyes.
No one knew where she was, and it aggravated him. Wouldn't you wonder where your sister was if you hadn't had any source of communication with her for twenty-four hours? Wouldn't you worry if your daughter hadn't come home at the time she had promised? Wouldn't you be freaking out if you hadn't heard a word from your best friend in over two days?
Had he been the only one going crazy, asking himself what he had done to make her ignore his calls and texts? Was he the only one stressing over the fact that she hadn't showed up at school for finals? Was he the only one that suspected she was missing after the first day?
But of course, he had been wrong on a few things.
She hadn't been missing for three days, but an entire week. The sign stapled to the telephone pole in front of him had been hung up on three days before, which bothered him to no end, because he knew that unless his father wasn't a cop or hers wasn't a fireman, that sign would have probably never have even been printed. He noticed something was wrong when she didn't show up at school on Monday. Everyone else had expected an illness.
But he knew that she was completely fine the day before, for they were together the entire day.
He called her dad, asking him if she was sick or something. Her father had responded with an answer that she didn't come home the day before, and he had received a text message that she had slept over her best fiends house.
Which, of course, wasn't true, considering the fact that when he spoke to the oblivious redhead, she had informed him that she hadn't spoken to with her since that Friday.
That's when the insanity settled in.
He immediately called his father, pleading for help and advice. The officer had told him to call the LAPD and file a missing persons report… right after taking a deep breath and calming down.
And so he spent his next four days locked in his room of apartment 2J at the Palm Woods, not caring when Gustavo called to yell at him for not showing up to rehearsals or harmony breaks. He refused to talk to anyone, and only answered the small grey phone when the Caller ID flashed with the familiar numbers of the police department, his father, or her family, all of which he had memorized.
His band mates worried about him, but they worried more about her. She had become a good friend of the boys from Big Time Rush and they knew that losing her would mean devastation.
His eyes stared up hatefully at the sign before him, and his knuckles were white from how hard he was clenching his fists. His eyes burned with the intensity of his want to grab whoever had taken her by the neck and hurting them in the worst way possible. He didn't understand why the hell someone would take an innocent girl and rid her of seeing her family and loved ones.
He didn't even want to begin to imagine what she could be going through right about now.
A hand touched his shoulder. "Carlos," a soft voice murmured. "We need to get going."
He looked down at the calm face of her mother, who looked at the Latino with blood-shot green eyes. He could easily see the girl he loved somewhere in the face of the mature lady standing before him, and his stomach clenched.
Nodding once, he led the distressed mother to the car, where the father of the missing girl waited.
She didn't know where she was. She didn't know how to get home. She didn't even know what time it was.
She couldn't remember anything. All she could remember was his face, staring back at her with large chocolate eyes. She had no idea how she got here, who had brought her, or if she was still alive. Last time she checked, life wasn't this dark.
She could hear water dripping nearby, as if it was coming from a faucet and dripping down onto stone bricks. She could feel the cold, moist air, nipping at her cheeks. She could smell the scent after rain, combined with the cold temperature of late fall.
She came to the conclusion that she had fallen asleep, fainted in other words. Her cheek was pressed against a cold stone floor, her eyes refused to open. There was a sharp pain on her side, and she worried if she was bleeding.
After forcing her eyes to open, she was able to see the faint light of early morning, and she pushed her eyes open wider, inviting the sudden change in brightness. As her brain started to work again, the pain in her side became more profound, causing a low moan to escape her.
She built up her strength and tried to push herself up, but her arms were too weak. She struggled to get up, but the mixture of pain and weakness didn't help her. Her throat was dry and screamed for something to drink, and her stomach growled.
How long had she been unconscious?
She gave up on attempting to get up and rolled over, letting out a yelp of pain when her side hit the ground a little too hard. Lifting her head about half an inch, she could see a patch of dried blood on the ground.
Her eyes watered.
What had happened to her?
She was confused and scared, unable to remember anything; she scoured her pockets for her cell phone, letting out a soft sob when she realized it was off. Out of battery.
Praying to God, she pressed the power button and hoped she could reach someone, anyone.
He gripped the arms of his chair, trying to control himself. He had a feeling that in about ten minutes he would have to be removed by force, but he strived to get a hold of himself. He wouldn't be able to handle it if he was thrown in juvenile without knowing anything about her.
Detective Mario Gutierrez sat in front of him, lips pursed, face expressionless, which pissed Carlos off in a way that made him clench his jaw even harder so he wouldn't explode.
"Carlos, I know this is hard for you, since you had such a close relationship with her… but you have to answer my questions." The detective said in a low voice.
The Latino glared at him, finding all of this ridiculous.
"Now, you were the last one seen with her, so, you know, maybe you…"
"I already told you," Carlos growled. "I took her to the park on Sunday, and then her brother picked her up at the Palm Woods."
"Did you know where she was going with her brother?"
"Have you seen her brother in the last five days?"
"And where was that?"
"When I went to her house to ask why she didn't show up at school, when we both drove out to find her together, and he's come to the Palm Woods plenty of times to check up on me. Can we please stop wasting time now?" he demanded. "All this time you're wasting pointing fingers at me, you could easily be out there looking for her."
"How long has she been missing?" Carlos groaned at the question.
"Five and a half days!"
Detective Gutierrez was quiet for a moment, and Carlos was growing more nervous by the second as the mask the detective had on twisted into a look of sympathy and fear.
"Carlos," he sighed, taking off his glasses and putting them aside. "listen to me, I've seen things like this happen hundreds of times. And… and well…"
"She's gone, isn't she?" Carlos finished for him, his face falling and his shoulders slouching.
"Most girls her age that are kidnapped… are given seventy-two hours to live."
"She needs more than seventy-two hours!" Carlos roared, his chair tipping backwards and crashing onto the floor as he shot up. The two police officers waiting outside immediately reacted, barging in and holding the wild Latino as he reached his limit. "She's been gone for one hundred and twenty-six hours! You can't sit me here and tell me she's dead when you haven't. Even. Tried. Looking. For. Her."
The detective stared at the teenager with sympathetic eyes, watching as he lashed out and tried to free himself of the officers' tight grip. Carlos' eyes were wild, the desperation and insanity evident in the dark brown irises.
He was escorted out by force, just like he had predicted.
And now he sat against the wall outside the station, his fingers gripping the only thing that was left of her.
He looked down at his cell phone, where the white screen displayed the small black letters that spelled out that one short sentence that had changed him forever.
He tried to imagine her as she typed that one sentence, telling him how she thought she was falling for him. How she was afraid of falling in love.
A drop of water fell on the screen, and he looked up at the sky, appalled. There were no rain clouds in the sky, and no thunder threatening a storm.
He felt moisture on his cheek.
Reching up, he wiped his tears away and clenched his jaw. Was he seriously crying? Carlos Garcia never cried, he never found the right reason to.
But the fact that she might be gone, that he might never see the blue of her eyes again, feel the softness of her lips, or hear the melody of her voice… He didn't think he could handle it.
His phone suddenly vibrated, and his eyes widened when his caller ID spelled out the only name he ever wanted to read.
So... this ... thing...has been just sitting in my harddrive for about two months now... and I've been working hard on trying to finish all my requests while trying to write chapt 4 on Broken... and I'm totally stuck... so i was just rereading my stuff and I thought "what the hey" just tell me what you think... please.
Honestly, that one review button right there gives you the option of adding this and me to ur faves while you review and make me a happy author... i honestly think they should change it to an EVERYTHING button...
Seriosuly though... review :3