No one thought anything out of the ordinary was going to happen today. At first we suspected nothing, but as the weeks went on, we knew something was up. My friend
hadn't shown up for lunch for one week, then another, and another, etc. All we could ask ourselves was, where was he? Brandon tried calling his home phone during lunch, but there was no answer,
just constant rings that left us in anxiety. Concern filling us up like a balloon ready to explode, we called at various time frames, thinking maybe he just wasn't home those times we tried
before. Still, no answer. This was not normal, and it only made us wonder more.
A month or two passed, and no one had heard from our friend. Brandon confessed to my friends and I what our missing friend, Alex, had told him a while back, before the disappearance. His uncle and aunt were abusive. His uncle the physical abuse, and his aunt, the mental abuse. This only made things worse. Now that we thought about it, Alex always wore a long sleeve shirt, no matter how hot it was outside. If it was a hot day, he rolled up his sleeves, but we never saw his upper arms. That's where we think his uncle would hurt him. Were there bruises under that shirt? Cuts? Who knows. All of us became protective, even Brandon, who rarely showed fierce emotions. It was a few friends and I, who actually did something about it. At first, we tried to figure things out on our own. We figured out that our friend lived on James Street, just behind the town's KFC, with his uncle and aunt. All of us met up at Katie's house, to call a few more times before we left on our mission. When there was still no answer, we jumped into the backseat of the car, and drove off. My friend's mom dropped us off a few houses down, she watched from a distance. The Winter air bit at our cheeks, but that was the least of our worries.
Hesitantly, I opened the screen door and knocked. We heard movement inside, and a tall man opened the door; our friend's uncle. When we asked if Alex was there, we didn't get the response we'd hoped for. A frigid 'no' was thrown at us, and a door slammed in our faces. The last glimpse we had was of Alex's younger brother's terrified face, sitting in the recliner. That only made us want to find him faster. His uncle had lied to us, we knew that, but there was nothing we could do at that moment. We were helpless, and it was the most horrible feeling I'd ever felt.
We couldn't take it anymore, so finally, we all grabbed the courage to talk to our school's counciler. The tension in the room was thick, we had things that needed to be said and we needed to know that something would be done to help our friend. Something was wrong, because his schedule was blocked, and no one had access to it. The only one who could tell us what had happened was our missing friend. Mr.Spritzer left us exactly how we had entered his office, hopeless and helpless. None of us ever found out if anything was done to help Alex.
I'm not sure how many months passed, but eventually I ran into Alex at the roller rink. No matter how hard I try, I couldn't explain how happy and relieved I was to see that he was okay. Still, a part of me knew that he was only okay when he was out of that house; in it, that was a whole other story. However many months pass, I will never forget those moments that seem to merge into one. I cannot forget the look on Alex's uncle's face as he slammed the door in our faces. This moment is forever imprinted in my mind.
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