I woke up the next morning to find my pillow saturated with tears. I was surprised that, although I was home; I still felt lost. I was disorientated and confused. The sun was streaming in, yet it
felt like I was staring into shadows.
I blinked, which slowly un-fogged my mind. I glanced at the clock, it was 11 o’clock.
I stumbled out of my room and into the kitchen. Dad and Kate were outside; I could hear them laughing as they kicked the footy. Mum, Sara and Mrs Jules were at the table.
“Morning,” I said. It was still odd to be back in my own house.
“Indi, darling,” began Mrs Jules. “It’s so good to see you.” She leant over to hug me.
“Now, I now you’ve just gotten back, but; have you heard from Claudia?”
“No…” I replied, instantly worried.
“It’s just she didn’t come home last night. She went out with Aaron. I tried calling him, but he didn’t answer.”
My mind instantly went into panic mode. I could feel the colour drain from my face. I turned abruptly and headed up to my room. I gabbed a jacket to throw over my blue nightie. I ran back to the
“Indi? What are you doing?”
I headed out the door, yelling behind me “I think I know where she is!”
I sprinted down the street, quickly realising I had forgotten to put shoes on. My feet where stinging, but I just kept going. I had a sinking suspicion Aaron had done something. I wouldn’t give up.
I had to help Claudia.
* * *
Claudia woke up with tanbark matted in her hair. It was surprisingly warm, she could feel the sun beating down on her bare back. She knew she should head home, but she just couldn’t find the
She wrapped her arms around her body, almost in an effort to hold onto her hope.
No cars drove past. She gazed around, she knew where she was; only 5 minutes from Aaron’s house. Not far enough for her liking.
* * *
I was uncomfortable; running in a silk nightie wasn’t the most comfortable experience. I turned into the next street, glancing into the bushes; worried about what I was going to find. Then, just as
a million horrible possibilities where running through my mind, I saw her. She was have sitting, half lying on the ground. She was wearing only a red dress.
“CLAUDIA!” I screamed, crying with relief and fear.
She sat up further, startled.
“INDI!” the tears began streaming down her face.
I ran towards her. I dropped to the ground and threw my arms around her.
“You’re, he, Aaron,” she sobbed.
“Shh,” I soothed. “Shh, it’s all ok now. I’m safe, it’s all good now.”
She clung to me tighter.
“Hey, Claud, what’s wrong? It’s all ok now.” I was confused as to why she was still so distressed.
Her sobs only grew louder.
A thought then dawned on me.
“Claudia… what are you doing here?”
She was so troubled that the sobs were shaking her body.
She tried to control her breathing.
“Aaron. He, last night. We went out to dinner. He brought me too his house. And then… he, he.” She paused, again overcome by her tears.
“He tried to, to. Indi, he tried to sleep with me.”
“Oh Claud,” I hugged her tighter.
“I tried to stop him, but he didn’t listen.”
She started to cry again, and then I was crying to.
“Come on,” I said. “We should get you home.”
I helped her up and she half smiled at me.
“Aaron took you didn’t he?”
She looked like a storm cloud.
“But when we get home, we’ll have a proper chat to the police. He’ll get in trouble. Don’t you worry.”
We walked slowly towards my house.
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