Authors: Whitney Cannavina
“Sounds good. I’ll go with in case her car is broken down and it’s an easy fix. I can just jimmy it and drive it back. Sierra will be pissed if she has to wait for me to fix it.” I nod my head in agreement. We head out and drive through town not seeing Sierra’s car until we get to the school. All by itself, her little two door car sits in the parking lot with no Sierra in sight.
“I wonder where she went.” I muse aloud. Damon nods his head in agreement as we pull into the parking lot and park next to her car. We both get out and walk up to Sierras car looking inside to see if maybe she left a note. Nothing. I try starting the car with the spare key I carry and nothing happens. The engine doesn’t turn over or even click so I pop the hood for Damon to check it out. Maybe the cables were loose or something on the battery but I have a feeling it’s more than that.
“The cables are cut. What the fuck?” Damon shouts. I jump out of the car and run around to the front to see what the hell he’s talking about even though I already know what cables are cut. “Shit. Who would cut her cables?” Damon asks with dread in his voice.
“I don’t know but I don’t like it. Try her cell again while I walk around the school and see if maybe she’s hanging around somewhere.” I say hoping he can’t hear the tremor in my voice. I have a feeling that something real bad has happened to my baby girl and that those cables were only the beginning of some sort of hell we will be facing.
“Ok. If you find her call me and if she shows up here I’ll call you.”
I walk around the school going through the halls and calling her name in case she can hear me, coming up with no results of her whereabouts. When I return to the parking lot where Damon is pacing back and forth on his cell I know something horrible has happened.
“Yeah thank you. If you hear from her let me know. Thanks. Bye.” Damon turns to me with a worried look on his face. I know mine mirrors the same has he turns to look away from me running his hands through his hair in frustration.
“Any news?” I ask the question but I know the answer already.
“Nope. None of her friends know where she could be. Everyone is already at our house and she’s not with any of them. The last people to see her was the cheer squad and they all left after practice. They said she was just supposed to grab some stuff from her lockers and she would be right home to get ready for the party. That’s the last they heard. I keep trying her phone and get her voicemail.”
“Fuck!” I yell slamming my hand on the hood of her car. I’m pissed and worried and clueless as to where to start. This is bad. She could be hurt, she could be unconscious or even kidnapped. There a bunch of possibilities. “Call your mom. See what she wants to do before we call the police. I have a feeling she’s not just walking home with a dead phone.” Damon nods his head and calls his mom to see what she wants to do.
As Damon paces in front of the car I can hear the hysterical sobs of his mom on the other end of the line and it cuts me deep hearing her frantic cries about our baby girl. I want to find her. I want to see her for myself and know she’s ok and safe in my arms. I want to know that this is just some joke she’s playing even though it’s not even the slightest bit funny.
“Mom wants to call the police.” Damon looks ready to cry. I know he won’t but he’s scared. He’s scared of the many possibilities of what could have happened to Sierra and so am I but I can’t let on just how scared I am. We’ve never had to worry about her but now we are and there’s nothing we can do to protect her until we find her.
“Ok. Call the police.” As Damon dials 911, I wait and listen as he explains the situation. First they try to tell him there’s nothing they can do because she hasn’t been missing 24 hours and that she’s probably going to show up soon. Damon starts yelling at the dispatcher and I know that’s not going to help bring them here. I decide to call the detective I’m working for and let him know what’s up and see if he can send someone over to start a report. He agrees and I tell Damon to hang up with the dispatcher that I got someone to come out. Within 20 minutes a sheriff and a detective pull into the parking lot followed by Damon’s parents. I take a moment to speak with the detective since I know him while Damon hugs both his parents in a comforting gesture. Damon’s mom is hysterical and his dad looks ready to break. This is probably one of the worst things that could happen to a parent and family.
“We were waiting at home for Sierra to arrive after her cheerleading practice. We were throwing a party for her birthday and she still had to get ready so she should have been home around four. We figured she probably went to one of the girls houses that is in her cheerleading squad to get ready but when they all showed up they told us that Sierra was supposed to come home and get ready. I guess after practice she went to her locker to grab some stuff and then said she would see them at our house. When she never showed up we thought maybe her car broke down somewhere and decided to go check it out since we couldn’t get through on her phone. When we got here and checked the car, we noticed that the battery cables were cut and she’s nowhere to be found. That’s all we know and we keep calling her cell and it goes straight to voicemail.” I told the officers everything while they wrote it down for review.
“We’ll take a look at the cameras and see if we can catch anything on camera.” Just then a guy around Sierra’s age comes walking up looking nervous. Maybe he knows where she’s at? We need something to help us find her. I just hope she’s ok and not hurt.
“Um. Uh. Excuse me? You’re um… Sierra’s brother right?” He asks looking straight at me. I guess a lot of people might assume that but Sierra and Damon’s parents never adopted me. They only treated me as their son and took care of me like I was theirs.
“Sort of. Why? Do you know where Sierra went? If you know anything, please tell us.” I say trying not to intimidate the little guy.
“Yeah. Um… Well I saw Sierra trying to start her car when um…Mr. Morris came over in his car and opened the hood to hers. Then they talked for um…like a few minutes and she got in his car. They went that way.” Pointing towards the direction of town.
“Are you sure it was Mr. Morris?” The officer asked.
“Yeah. Definitely. I always see him driving the same care to and from school because I always seem to get stuck behind him. Except today. Today I stayed after school to be tutored and I just happened to be at my car waiting for my tutor to arrive.”
“Can you describe the vehicle they got into and what they were wearing?” The officer asks.
“Yeah.” As the guy described the teacher’s car I went to explain what we heard to Damon and his parents. They were relieved that we got a lead but disappointed that Sierra didn’t call us to tell us what happened and also that a teacher was the last person to be seen with her.
I’m angry and I should have seen this coming. Sierra mentioned this guy a few times to me but I never thought anything of it. Now I don’t have a single doubt that it was him. I’ll find him and then I’ll find Sierra and beat this guy to his death. Nobody hurts my baby girl and gets away with it.
“We are going to check out this Mr. Morris guy and see what he knows and then we will get back to you. If you hear anything from her or any other information about her let me know. Here’s my card with my personal cell on it. Just call me anytime and I’ll let you know what we find out with this guy.”
“Ok.” I take the card and stick it in my wallet for safe keeping. We head home and everyone retires to their rooms to worry in their own way. I contemplate going to this guy’s house but decide to wait and see what the police find. The next day we all sit at the table and pick at our breakfast waiting to hear word from the police. We expect it to be soon so when the phone finally rings we all jump while Damon runs to the phone and answers. We all wait in anticipated silence for the news. Damon just keeps saying ‘ok’ and ‘thanks’ not giving us a hint at what’s going on and it’s driving me mad.
Last night was the worst night of my entire life not knowing if Sierra was ok or not. I know I’ve been beaten and worse when I was little but when it comes to the safety of my baby girl nothing is worse than not knowing if she’s ok. I couldn’t sleep and I felt like a caged animal with nothing to do but wait and see what the police say. Finally Damon hangs up the phone looking grim.
“They said they questioned Mr. Morris and even though he didn’t have an alibi he also said it wasn’t him who took her home that he left soon after school let out. They also checked his car and house and found no evidence of her ever being there. They have no new evidence but they will keep looking and if we think of anything to let them know. They are going to check out the cameras at the school and see if they can see something on them but that could take a few hours he said.” I want to kill him. I want to rip him a new ass hole. I have never wanted to murder somebody so much as I do this instant. I know he lied. The kid at the school said it was him and if he sees him and his car everyday there is no way he could be wrong about who he saw at the school yesterday.
“I’ll go check her room and see if she may have something in there that could point us in the right direction. Maybe a guy in her life or something like that.” I plan to read her diaries. I don’t care if it pisses her off or if I read something I may not like. I know there is a real possibility that she will mention someone in there that the police can check out in case I’m wrong.
I go to her room without waiting for a reply from any of them and search for her diary. I haven’t read anything after the entry just before I kissed her so maybe she wrote something afterwards. Hopefully she didn’t take her diary with her. As I search through her desk drawers I find it sitting on top and I grab it sifting through the entries until I reach the last one I read and go to the one written right after.
It was of the day we kissed. As I read it I wish I could go back to that day. That was such an amazing day just because of that kiss. I want to go back and change how I acted and maybe it would change what happened yesterday. I read through smiling with the memory while my heart hurt because she isn’t here now. When I finish that entry I move on to the next and then the one after that and so on and so forth until I finish the diary. She wanted to tell me how she was in love with me on her birthday. I didn’t know what to think but I knew that I felt as though my heart was breaking because we never got a chance to tell each other just how we felt.
As I sat there and contemplated all I read I realized that there had to be more diaries somewhere. This one came up empty. No secret stalkers, no other crushes or boyfriends or even a guy that harassed her. It’s almost all just about her day and her love for me. Either she didn’t want to write it in her diary or nothing happened for her to write down in her diary. If that’s the case then this guy is good. He planned it. He knew her schedule and didn’t do anything that would give her suspicion. That means this guy is smart. That means I need to follow him and see what his habits are and maybe check out the places he frequents.
I search Sierra’s room looking under her bed, in her dresser and inside her closet trying to find more of her diaries. When I reached her closet I found a big box of her diaries and know that this could take some time. I decide to read only the latest diaries. I pull the box out, sit on her bed and start to read. I don’t know how long I sat in her room reading but it turned dark and I haven’t eaten anything or even moved from my spot on her bed. My back hurts from the position I was in for so long. I stretch feeling my muscles ache and my bones crack but the stress is still there. When I head down to the kitchen to grab a bite to eat nobody is around. I figure they are all in their rooms trying to hide just how scared they are for Sierra from each other. I don’t blame them as I do the same except for instead of being in my room I chose to stay in Sierra’s where I can wrap her scent around me. I feel closer to her there. I decide to sleep in her bed and not leave until we find her. The next two days continue in the same fashion before I decide it’s time to do something to help find her other than going through her diaries.
First thing I do is make it my mission to find out what Mr. Morris looks like. I wait at the school in the afternoon and search for his car as everyone leaves. Since the police have looked at the tapes, they couldn’t get a visual of the parking lot where Sierra’s car was parked because the camera was turned off but they did say that after school got out long before Sierra’s cheer practice was over, Mr. Morris was seen leaving the staff parking. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t wait until practice was over to swing back by and kidnap my baby girl. And that’s exactly what I think happen. I know it in my gut and in my heart that he has her I just need to prove it. My gut is never wrong and I know it’s not wrong this time either.
As I wait for him to walk to his car I receive a call and I answer without looking. “Shoot.”
“Hey. So I’ve been asking around to see if anyone has heard anything or seen anything that may be related to Sierra and guess what?” My heart skips a beat hoping with all hope that he got something on my baby girl.
“I don’t want to fucking guess. Just tell me you heard something about her?”
“No. But there is a sex trafficking ring that’s local and they bring in girls all the time. Problem is, they don’t keep the girls long before they are sold. We need to check it out. I’m going there now. You in?” Fuck. Damon can’t just waltz up to some place that holds girls that are to be sold and expect to get in. They might just shoot him on the spot.
“NO! Don’t go there yet. I got a buddy who can get in without raising suspicion. If they think you’re suspicious in any way they will close up shop so fast we won’t be able to save her if she is there. They could just sell the girls out right or even kill them to save face.” I can’t take a chance at Damon scaring them and they do something like that where I lose Sierra forever. I’ve never been to the location where the girls are kept but I know someone who has.