It’s been a week, there is no sign of Jessica. I haven’t told anyone at school, but I think I really should tell her friend Samantha I mean she could know where Jessica has gone. I’m in school and I see Samantha go into the toilets so I follow. “Samantha! Samantha!” She turned around and smiled.
“Hey Zoe.” She said. “Hey where’s Jess, I haven’t seen her for a while.”
“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about, she’s run away... about a week ago our auntie died and Jess just left us.” She pulled me out of the toilets and into an empty classroom and shut the door.
“You didn’t think of telling me sooner? I could have helped you.” I nodded.
“I know, that’s why I came to you know. I can’t cope on my own.” Oh shit, now she knows something is wrong at home.
“Cope?” she asked.
“We have a mentally ill uncle, she was always good at taking care of him. He hates me and he wants her back. Please Samantha, I really need your help.” She looked sympathetic but nodded.
“Okay, I will help you.” I sighed in relief and hugged her.
“Can you think of anywhere she might have gone?” At least this is a start.
“She loved the beach, we went there once and found this place behind the rocks, and she always joked about hiding out there.” My eyes widened and I pulled her out of the room. “Where are we going?”
“Where do you think? We are going to get my sister back.” She pulled herself off me.
“Zoe wait one second.” I turned around.
“What?” I said impatiently.
“What if she isn’t there?” she said and I rolled my eyes.
“Well we don’t know unless we try.” I was about to grab her hand but she pulled away. “What?”
“I can’t come with you, I hardly know you.” I rolled my eyes.
“Do you want your best friend back?” She nodded.
“Yes, okay let’s go.” I hugged her and we were just about to leave when I bump into Jake. “Jake.” I said.
“Where you going?” he asked putting his arms around my waist.
“Jake I can’t tell you.” I removed his arms from my waist and began to walk away.
“Zoe tell me what is going on.” I turned around and looked at him.
“Jessica is missing, she ran away last week and I’m going to find her.” He grabbed my arm.
“Let me come with you.” Tears began pouring out of my eyes and he pulled me into a hug. “Let me come.” I nodded and he followed me and Samantha outside. “Where to?” he asked and I looked at Sam.
“Long Island beach.” She told him and he drove off.
“Why did she run away?” Jake looked me and I knew I couldn’t keep hiding the truth from him.
“Our auntie past last week, our uncle is mentally ill. We look after them every day.” I felt ashamed, ashamed I couldn’t tell him the truth. Ashamed of my family.
“You have been going through this alone?” he looked shocked, I wish I told him sooner. I shouldn’t have gone through this on my own.
“Yes, I’m so sorry. I wanted to tell you so many times but I didn’t want you to end things with me.” He held my hand.
“Happy one year.” I put my hand over my mouth, I can’t believe I forgot. “I love you Zoe.” I put my face in my hands and cried, I was happy, sad and scared, scared we wouldn’t find Jessica. I really need her, you have no idea how much I need her.
“I love you.” I finally said after a few silent seconds. It was true, I have never loved anyone like I love him.