CHAPTER 3.

"Ashley!" I screamed. I ran over to him and wiped the sweat off of his red face. I didn't know if he was dead or not. He wasn't moving. My eyes were blurry so I couldn't see if he was breathing or not. I panicked and I tore the duct tape off of his eyes and his mouth and struggled to untie his hands. I washed off the blood with the cup of water and held his hands to my chest. I just then realized I was crying.

"M..m..man i..in..b..la..ck..c..u...t ..m..y..-"

"Don't talk, just calm down ok? It's going to be just fine, I'm here now. No one is going to hurt you" I said looking around cautiously. But I had just lied to him; I didn't know if anyone was going to hurt him, I wasn't sure. I mean all I did was go downstairs and get some water and look at what's happened. I pulled Ashley onto my lap and just sat there, stroking the hair on his forehead whispering to him: everything is fine, no one is here.

Hours past and Ashley seemed to be recovering. "I think I'm ok now" He said taking a deep breath.

"You scared the shit out of me, I thought you were dead" I said crying again.

"You're not the only one. I don't know who the hell that was, but all I remember was making the bed and sitting down over at the desk. Then everything went black" He said with a few stutters.

Then the phone rang. We both went downstairs looking around every corner to see if anyone was there. Ashley answered the phone.

"Hello?"

"Good morning is that Mr Doner?" A ladies voice asked.

"No it's his son, who is it?" Ashley asked looking at me in a strange way.

"Oh, well this is the head mistress of Junior High. We are wondering why you are absent." She asked in an impatient tone.

"It's personal" Ashley said then hung up on her.

"What did you do that for?" I asked returning his strange look.

"Rumours start easily Jess" He said going to the kitchen for some lucky charms (cereal). I had a bowl too and we just sat there munching away.

"Where's your mom?" I asked munching on a mouth full of lucky charms.

"Work, she leaves at 5am and Dad goes to the gym at 6. So I'm home alone every morning" He replied.

"Oh I see, well I want to take my mind off things so I think I'm going to go to Isabelle's today, I need to explain everything to her" I said popping another spoonful into my mouth.

"Promise me you'll be careful" I said holding his little finger up at me. It's what we used to do when we were younger 'pinkie promise'.

"Pinkie promise" I shook his little finger with my little finger and started to laugh. He was giggling too. I then got my cell phone out and texted Isabelle: 'Hi, Can I come over to yours tonight?'

I felt a vibrate. Isabelle was the one to text back fast. She's the sort of person that has her cell next to her 24/7. I read the text it said: 'Omg! You're alive! Yeah sure U can. Why haven't U been at Skool?' I texted back saying: 'Long story I'll tell you tonight'.

"Jess, would you tell me about your dream last night? Or if you don't want to talk about it it's fine" Ashley asked with an innocent face.

I took a deep breath cringing at the fact of trying to remember it. Then slowly I closed my eyes and pictured everything again "I was in a field and I heard whispers and my mom was calling me. It seemed like heaven until I saw my mom and she was running away from me, I was running after her but she was so far away. It just didn't feel right. And she said something like 'not you too?' that's the bit that confuses me... and why was she running away. It makes no sense!"

"Hey, it's ok it was only a dream. What confuses me is that some creep got into my house and gagged me without me noticing and snuck out without you noticing. I think we should call the police you know. What if this has something to do with...you know... your mom being murdered?"

"No, no police. They are pretty much useless. I want to find out who did it myself. But first I want to get my act together and go back to school. I don't like feeling like an outsider. I mean obviously rumours have already started- 'Jess Comber the biggest bunker ever'" I rolled my eyes thinking about all the other rumours that may have been spreading.

"Even if there is any rumours Jess, You and I both know it's all bullshit. That's all that really matters. There's always going to be rumours going round but if you want to go back to school then I'll be there as well." I smiled at him and got up, going up the stairs to get ready for Isabelle's. Ashley following behind me. As we reached his room, i trod on something that felt damp and weird. I lifted up my foot and noticed a little ball of red paper. Although it wasn't red paper, it was bloody, Ashley's blood. It was the piece of paper he was holding. "Ashley, come here and look at this..."

"Yeah, what is it?" He asked staring at the crumbled piece of paper. He opened it up and in black, smudged ink it read: 'You don't deserve to have people that love you Jessica.'