Layla Tatum. The girl that you can consider the big fish in this small town of Altha Florida, population 513. She was the only child of Daniel and Rachel Tatum and yet, she was surprisingly not spoiled. No, she was an over achieving, kind hearted, athletic, the class president, and of course stunningly beautiful because she still had girly qualities that all the girls wish they had and all the boys wish to be with. She was your stereotypic perfect girl.
The story of Layla starts off as a normal school day. She did her normal morning routine, ate her breakfast, and waited to be picked up by her best friends, Andre, Raymond, and Cody, who she grew up with them since they were all in diapers. Right when she hears the knock on the door, she perks up and put her dishes in the sink, kiss her parents good bye, and is out the door going to school. Her parents, having nothing to worry about because they felt that since she just turned 16, she can be given more responsibility and respect. They would never dream of anything happening to their little girl.
School continue on as usual. The only thing different was students and teachers were wishing Layla a belated happy birthday since it was on Saturday, but other then that, she went to all her classes and turn in all her homework and did her classwork. Nothing unusual. Right when the last bell rang to release the students, Layla decided to stay after school because she knew she had paper work to get done since she was the sophomore class president. Andre rush up to her when he finally saw her in the hall way and he offer her a ride home. She just smiled and told him the reason why she can't. He offer to stayed after with her but she shook her head and reminded him he had to babysit his little brother, Max. Andre didn't want to leave her alone but he knew that she was right and that his mother would murder him with a sledge hammer if he wasn't home on time. So, he just nodded and said be careful walking home. She said she'll be fine and continue heading towards Mrs. Blake's class.
Later that night Layla's parents were getting concern. It was 9:01 and usually their well behaved daughter would be home at 8 at the latest when it was a school night. Although, she would of called in if she was coming home late too, so the parents started to call all of Layla's friends, hangout spots, and study spots that Layla would usually be. All calls would end by saying they haven't seen Layla or heard from Layla. Concern soon quickly turn into panic and her parents called the police. The next day there was no news of where their daughter could be and before they knew it, there was a search party looking for Layla. Weeks of searching and nothing was found. Soon people started to give up and rumors started to spread within the town that Layla was a runaway and that she was secretly seeing and older male and went with him. Andre, Raymond, and Cody were appalled by these words and defended Layla's name every time they hear it. Daniel and Rachel Tatum also ignore these rumors for they were more worried about what happen to their daughter.
Seven months later when everyone starting to give up including her parents, Layla was finally found. She was found in a man made ditch, beaten to death from an unknown object. She was declare dead by murder and on May 17, 1996 the whole town was in grief over the lost of their beloved member of the community. The nightmare didn't seem to end after finding the body ether. The police wasn't able to find any leads to the case and Layla's parents couldn't stop fighting and blaming each other. Before Rachel Tatum can apologize, Daniel Tatum decides to leave her all by herself in the cold small town.
More rumors spread saying that Rachel turned crazy and still does her normal routines like Layla was still there. Andre, Raymond, and Cody unfortunately confirmed these rumors because everyday they would visit her to make sure she wouldn't do anything drastic. This continue for 15 years even after the boys graduated from college and are living their own life. Mrs. Tatum still doing her routine. And Layla's case still being unsolved, just waiting for the right person to finally bring out the truth, to what really happen to Layla Tatum because mostly everyone in the small town has a piece to make it whole.
Hi everyone! This is my first book I've decided to put online and I hope you enjoyed this little bit. I know it's not perfect but please give me feedback so I can improve! Also thank you for reading!
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