Recording 1, Part 1....
“If you’ve found this and no one has told you about it, you’re the first one to know the truth.”
I paused the video recording of Felix. His parents had let me into his room to look around, I missed him. He’d been gone for two months and I always stopped by though I often spent the time downstairs with his sister and parents.
To think the only thing connecting us was gone was weird. I sometimes felt out of place and like I was just a reminder of what they’d lost. But they knew I meant no harm, I missed Felix as much as they did.
What had I found? Was it intended for me or his parents? I had been looking over his clothes, books, pictures, none of these pictures were of him, he hated his picture being taken. He mainly took the photos of Riley, his sister, our friends, me, his family. This camera had been buried in the back of his closet in a duffle bag. I turned the camera on, FULL DATA CARD flashed on the screen. Full? Felix normally dumped all his pictures onto his computer long before his cards got full. I hit the view button and a bunch of recording appeared and I hit play on the first and that was the first line he said.
What was I getting into? Did I want to know the truth about what had happened to him? He wanted somebody to, he’d left these recordings for somebody, like a video diary almost. I looked into the duffle bag and found another data card labeled “Others”. I turned the video camera off and hesitated to pop the first data card out. But I did. It was labeled “Liam”.
I glanced behind me to see if anyone had followed or was watching or listening. It seemed quiet. I took the video camera and put it in my hoodie pocket, I put the two cards in my jean pockets, in case his sister or parents caught me walking out with the camera.
I descended the stairs slowly.
His parents were gazing at the TV, lost. Felix disappearing had broken them somehow. His sister complained about how cautious they were now but she understood, they’d lost one child they didn’t want to lose another.
“I’m going home, now,” I speak carefully.
Felix’s mother seems to snap out of her haze.
“Riley, could you walk him home?” she asks quietly.
Riley looked a little annoyed but didn’t object.
“She doesn’t have to, it’s just down the street, I’ll be fine, Mrs…” I start.
“Nonsense, Riley,” she says again.
Riley gets up and slips her shoes on. She pulls her curly hair into a ponytail before I open the door.
“It’s kind of counterproductive,” she comments. “Having me walk you home.”
“I could just as easily be kidnapped on the way back as you could on the way home by yourself,” she continues.
“Maybe it’s because you have a black belt,” I comment fiddling with the data cards in my jean’s pocket.
“That can’t stop a group of people from taking me,” she replies.
We walk down the sidewalk and around the corner.
“I just wish we knew something,” she started.
Maybe Felix hadn’t wanted them to know anything. He had two separate data cards, one for me, which began with that line about the truth another for others. I wondered what the other said, how much he wanted others to know.
“Don’t give up hope,” I reply as we reach my door. “There’s always hope as long as he’s missing.”
She hugs me, I half hug her worried she’ll feel the camera in my pocket.
“See you at school,” she comments.
“See you later,” I reply.
I watch her walk around the corner out of sight.
I open the door and greet my parents before running off upstairs to my computer. I take out the data card with my name on it and plug it into the computer.
A window pops up with the recording. There are sixty recordings, each about twenty to forty minutes. All of them were recorded between the 14th of November 2016 and the 19th of February 2019. The day Felix disappeared.
I clicked on the first one again.
“If you’ve found this and no one has told you about it, you’re the first one to know the truth…”