Lionel gave his brother another exasperated look. I’m sure he’s handled plenty cases of missing teenagers and was tired of the search, being that most of those missing teens were just being problematic and not really missing at all. Either they only seek attention or they just don’t want to be found.
I refuse to believe Callie had ran away and intentionally ignored my calls. Something must have happened to her. I relay everything I knew to Lionel and his interest visibly changed. He asked to talk to the three of us one by one, also calling in another officer who he introduced to us as his partner. He’s taking the matter seriously and about the damned time, too. I’d curse the police if anything happened to my girl and they didn’t do anything.
Unbeknownst to many people including me, there’s a history of bad dealings related to the Cressley’s. Kim’s family. In fact, their group of friends are all from shady backgrounds. That’s how they found each other. Birds of the same feather flock together and all. All this and more revealed by Lionel as I gave him my statement.
I should not have gotten involved with those people in the first place. I didn’t know they’d target Callie the way they did. What a shitty person I’d been, blind to all the things they’d done that affected my Callie worse than I could have ever imagined. I’m now terrified that they’re behind her disappearance because it’s unusual as hell for her not to let me know where she is. Even as we fought, she’d always send me a message, albeit a sour one, to let me know of her whereabouts. My sweet Callie won’t make me worry no matter how pissed I’d made her. Not even when I broke her heart that one cold night did she cut me off.
“And you didn’t follow her, to know where she’s headed?” Lionel asked his brother. It was the same question he asked Fely but he needs their different perspective on the event.
Jared shrugged. “The game was finally over and we got distracted by the win. Everyone was shouting and hugging and it was hard to move in a crowd that thick.”
He looks over at where Fely and I are waiting behind the two-way mirror. We’d been interviewed first, me then her, and finally, Jared. The resemblance between them is uncanny. We know of Lionel in middle school when he was a senior and the captain of the football team. He and Jared were pretty close and one can see why Jared worked hard to follow in his brother’s footsteps to be the star quarterback.
Coming from a family of architects, people expected Lionel to go down that road, too, so it was a shock to everyone when he chose criminology.
“Fely said there’s something wrong and she tried to go after her but I told her not to.” He cringed at this, no doubt feeling guilty. “I suggested calling her phone. I thought she just want some time alone from all the people. Callie hates huge crowds.”
He’s not wrong about that and it makes me feel responsible for her disappearance. I was the one who always forces her to come to my games. I like to feel her watching me, my every move was a showoff for her. Every point I make was dedicated to her. I feel good with her there but I never really thought about what she might be feeling. Again, being a shitty person to her. This is all my fault.
Jared exited the room with Lionel, and he led us all to his office.
“There’s not much we can do – ”
Lionel sighed and Jared clasped my shoulder. “Calm down, Harry. Let him finish.”
“Calm down?” It seems patronizing how people who are about to lose their shit were told to come down right before they lose their shit. “After everything you told us about – ”
“You have to keep your shit together,” Lionel interrupted me with as much determination as I did him. “We’ll be looking for her, even if it’s just us,” he’s referring to him and officer Parks, his partner. “We can’t file it as a missing person because of what I’d told you before. It hasn’t been twenty-four hours that she’s missing. We don’t want to lose any time so we’ll begin our search even the supposedly given time. I trust your concern and it’s valid, given that none of your relatives are aware of her whereabouts.”
Admittedly, I felt a little calmer knowing that they’d start the search right away. Not that I’d just stand by and watch, I’ll be looking with them, too. And what he said was true. I called nana and asked her if Callie had arrived at her place yet. She had no idea what I was talking about and before she worried, I lied and told her that I must have confused the dates, that Callie meant to visit her tomorrow and not today. I texted Ane next, asking her if she’s home. She said that she’s at her skating practice which then I proceeded to ask if Callie was with her. A slim chance to none but I had to try. My phone rang then, a melodious music playing in the background of Ane’s soft voice.
“She’s not with me, Harry. Why? Is something the matter?”
I couldn’t tell her that I was beginning to think that Callie is missing so I just told her that we had an argument and she ran away from me.
“Oh, you lovebirds,” she tutted. That’s what she called us, lovebirds. I don’t know if she knew the implication of her endearment or if it was just nothing but a funny nickname to her. “Tell her mom wants to invite the two of you over for dinner tomorrow night. And you know she doesn’t take no for an answer.”
Apparently, Ane doesn’t as well as she hung up the phone and left me staring at it for a few seconds before coming to. Shit. The snowball effect had begun. I’d told nana Callie is going to visit her tomorrow only for us to be unavailable because of aunt Denise’s dinner. Not to mention said girl is still missing so there won’t be any appearance from her on either occasion for tomorrow if I don’t find her.
Then there’s that nagging feeling at the back of my head that I’m missing something. Something really big and important and I can’t shake the feeling that it might just change everything once I figured out what it is.
“You should head back home,” Lionel continues. “In most cases, the missing person goes back home only to find that no one is there to welcome them. The people looking for them don’t think to look twice in the same place once they’re certain that they’re not there.”
Like hell I would. I don’t want to sit around feeling helpless when I can use my strength to look for her. This stupid strength that I can’t even use to find her. My ankle had swollen but it felt better when I applied the ice pack I was given here at the station. I don’t even care that I didn’t get the chance to shower and change clothes. As if that matter when I just lost my girl.
Fuck, I didn’t lose her. I’m gonna find her. I have to and I will. And like fuck if I ever let her out of my sight again.
My phone was busting with calls and messages but none from the one person I’m dying to get to. All of my buddies were all asking me where I was, telling me they’d wait for my arrival and how they won’t start the party without me.
This was our last celebratory party together and before I thought I wouldn’t miss it for the world. But my world had been turned upside down since the moment I admitted my feelings to myself, once I’d been honest about what I really want. About who I want.
We can arrange for more parties, schedule more meetups and hang out any time we want. Meanwhile, I can’t let this search pass because time is of the essence. I don’t want to think the worst but it’s evening now and still, there’s no sign of Callie. It’s been the same when I call her, like before. Her phone is dead. No wonder she didn’t call or message me.
It also became a puzzle how she got off the school property. She doesn’t have a car, she doesn’t even know how to drive yet. I promised I’d teach her but she always freak out and I always go soft on her and coddle her instead of pushing her to do something she’s not comfortable doing.
Her ride was me and when I can’t take her, she goes with Fely. She really doesn’t have any close friends that she hangs out with much less hitch a ride with. Nobody seemed to have seen her during the time that she walked out of the gym and it’s only now that we thought of going to the security to check if there is something relevant caught on camera. Eyes that were plastered all around the school grounds for safety reasons, definitely not privacy.
Lionel was the one who went with them. Students aren’t permitted to go inside the security room and no matter how I reason with the guards, they still refuse to let me in. They’re just doing their job but, man. I’m going crazy here every passing minute. When he came back with Parks, I swiftly jumped from where I was sitting by the windowsill waiting for them, almost putting my weight on my injured ankle. Fely and Jared came with me, as Fely insisted. She felt like she’s at fault, too. We all watch the two of them expectantly. The guards we spoke to didn’t come out with them.
“Well?” Fely demanded, both arms offensively resting on her hips.
The two officers shared a look and it made my stomach drop. Whatever it was, it’s definitely not good.
Parks stepped towards us, leaving Lionel behind as he slip his walkie talkie from his belt and ask the person on the other end, “Have we got a location?”
I kept my eyes on Parks, he’s the one who’s going to tell us, while my ears stay alert and open for any news coming out from the speaker on Lionel’s hand. My hands gripped my crutches tightly I felt like the bones will pop right out of my knuckles.
“You know a guy,” Parks asks, consulting the piece of paper he’s holding. “Abraham Cristo?”
I stood straighter, tensed.
“Abraham…” Fely muttered, thinking. She’d get it. Only a few more seconds. “Cristo.” Her voice at the end was a sign her sudden understanding. She snapped her head sharply at me, realization dawning in her eyes.
“Cristo,” she repeated.
I nodded my head ever so slightly even though it wasn’t a question. More like a confirmation. Yes, I’m a Cristo. Which means…
“You mean… Abe?”
To hear his name loud and clear was like a slap in the face. I couldn’t even do anything but stand there, allowing the deathly of my silence to speak for me.
Here’s the other half of Harry’s chapter, you guys 🥰 Special thanks to @chauncey3 for reviewing this story 🌹
Hope you guys enjoy reading 🥰