Matthew's house had always been so pretty. His parents never failed to keep it tidy and spotless.
I pulled into his driveway and saw that his truck wasn't there. Matthew wasn't home...or so it looked like. Whenever I walk towards the porch, Matthew's dog-Rover-greets me...everytime.
I patted him on the head and said, "hello boy!" I climbed up the porch steps and knocked gently on the front door. Rover was sitting right next to my feet and when there wasn't an answer, he took his front paw and scratched on the door.
This time, the door opened to show Matthew's mom, Helen. I smiled at her and waved through the screen door. I noticed she didn't look all too thrilled to see me.
She cracked the door open and said, "C'mon, Rover." Rover looked up at me and then obediently went in the house. Helen stepped out onto the porch and did her best to smile at me.
I could tell she was wanting an explanation so I began, "I'm sorry for this unexpected visit, Helen. I was wondering why Matt didn't come to school today...I called him four times and he hasn't answered...so I was wanting to know if he was ok."
She crossed her arms and said, "Matt's not here, Grace. He also had his number changed...that's why he hasn't been getting your calls."
The look of pure shock was plastered on my face. "Oh...can you tell me where he is at, please?"
I looked closely and saw tears forming in Helen's eyes. "I'm sorry, Grace. I can't tell you where he is...I have to go back inside. It was nice seeing you again."
Before I could even respond, she shut the door in my face. I was completely dumbfounded...Helen had never treated me like that before! She always treated like her own daughter.
I slowly walked back to my car, trying to hold back my tears. Just as I was about to pull out, Matt's dad-Louis-came speeding into the driveway. I was thinking he wouldn't talk to me either, but he grinned and came jogging over to my car.
He knocked on the window and had me roll it down. "Hey Gracie! It's been awhile!" He opened my car door and bent down to give me a hug.
I was surprised by how chipper he was acting compared to his wife. I replied, "Hey Louis...it has been awhile...definately."
He smile soon faded and he asked, "Have you been crying? What's wrong, sweetheart?"
There's no way I could lie to him, and I started breaking down crying. "I just wanted to know where Matt is and...and..Helen slammed the door in my face! If it's none of my business, I understand...but I feel like I have a right."
Louis' face went pale. He started wringing his hands and running them through his thinning hair. "Grace, I'm sorry...but we can't tell you where he is...it's personal."
More tears started running down my cheeks. "I promise I won't tell Louis! You know you can trust me!"
Louis began pacing right in front of me and then finally he said, "Do you have a pen and paper?"
I nodded and bent down in my backseat to get my binder and a pen. I handed it to Louis and he began scribbling down something.
When he gave it back he said, "If you go to this address, you'll find Matt."
"Thank you so much Louis!" I hugged him tightly and put the paper in my pocket.
Louis smiled and replied, "Just don't tell how you found him...and remain yourself."
He hugged once more and then walked up to his porch. I slid down into my car and grabbed the paper out of my pocket.
It said: 544 Parkington Dr. San Diego, CA
I wasn't sure why Matthew would be all the way in San Diego, but I was about to find out.
While on the phone with my mom, I sped out of the drive and onto the highway.
"Mom, I'm going to be home late tonight. I'm going to see Matthew."
My mom said it was fine and we hung up.
While driving, I thought to myself:
Matthew here I come.