I sit on my bed crossed legged, my duvet wrapped loosely around my shoulders. I hold my phone in my palm, gently tossing it from one hand to the other.
Letting out a groan, I flop backwards onto my bed, staring up at the white ceiling. I’ll call her again, just one more time.
I push myself back up, bringing the phone to my ear as I wait for Carma to answer. Once again, she doesn’t.
This is so unlike Carma. She always picks up or at least drops a text to tell us if she’s busy or not. Pulling up the group chat, I quickly type, Has anyone heard from Carma?
I set my phone down on the cabinet beside my bed before getting up to get myself a drink. As I walk down the stairs, I see my mum in the living room, her phone to her ear as she speaks, ” Yeah, no, I’m sorry Genette, Mae just got out of hospital, oh yeah no she’s fine but I think it’s best... What’s happened? She fainted. She didn’t eat breakfast, can you believe? There was rice and peas in the fridge all she had to do was heat it up, kids these days getting lazy. Anyways Genette, I’m gonna stay home, make sure she’s ok. And you. Ok, bye-bye.”
“Hey mum, ” I say as she puts the phone down.
“Oh my- Don’t do that, you nearly scared me to bloody death.” Her hand goes to her heart as she takes a few deep breaths.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” I say, pausing for a moment before saying, “I think you should go out, with Genette.”
“You shouldn’t ease-drop, it’s rude.”
“Oh sorry,” I say, “Next time I’ll just shut my ears off.” My mum turns to me, shooting a glare.
I put my hands up in surrender, “Look, I just think that you rarely get out of the house and that you need some time for yourself.”
“Mae, you’ve just come from the hospital, what type of mum would I be if I just left you.”
“Mum, regardless of whether I fainted today or not, you would say no to Genette.”
“I don’t feel like going out today.”
“Mum, you always tell me that I shouldn’t let what happened two years ago get to me. And I of all people know how hard it is to move past it but you deserve to have some fun. Please go out for me.”
My mum stares at me, weighing up the pros and cons of the situation. Please go, please go. I need you out of the house.
“Fine but if anything happens, if you feel ill at all, you call me. And make sure you eat.” My mum says, voice leaving no room for argument.
“I was literally about to make myself a sandwich.”
“Good, I’m going to get changed.”
I sit back down on my bed, swapping the glass of water in my hand for my phone. I switch the screen on and go onto my messages.
Logan: No, haven’t heard back.
Kaiko: Me neither.
Becka: I haven’t and she’s not at hers either. I rang her parents. They thought she was at one of ours.
My heart rate begins to increase in speed and I suddenly feel sick to my stomach.
Mae: Are you sure?
Logan: Guys, I’m really starting to freak out.
Kaiko: Same. What if something bad’s happened? This isn’t Carma behaviour at all.
Mae: I think we need to go to plan B. Meet at mine ASAP to discuss.
I place my phone down on my bed, leg bobbing anxiously as I do so. What the fuck is going on? Where is Carma? Something catches in my throat and stays there. I can’t bare the thought of something bad happening to her.
It is an hour before I hear a knock at my door and when I open it, Becka, Kaiko and Logan are standing at my door. They come in taking off their shoes before going upstairs to my room.
“So, does anyone have any idea where Carma could have gone? Any suggestions at all?”
“Piano practice? Library? Game store?”
I shake my head at all those suggestions, “If she were at those places she would have replied to all our texts and calls but she hasn’t and her parents don’t know where she is either so we can only assume that something has happened. Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know but,” I say, voice dimming, “I can’t really see how it can be good.”
“The last place we saw her was at the hospital?” Logan states.
“Getting you some water, she said she’d be right back.” Kaiko says.
“Did she have a fight with anyone that might make her want to leave so abruptly?” They all shake their heads.
“Right, ok,” I bite my lip as I think, “And her parents?”
“They sounded pretty worried when I called. Worried and annoyed. They wanted to know why she hadn’t told them where she was but once I said that she wasn’t with any of us they sounded scared. They said they were going to call the police.”
“This is serious then.” Kaiko says, voice trembling ever so slightly.
“Right, we’re not wasting anymore time. We need to start Plan B. Can someone pass my phone?”
Logan does so quickly and I go closer to them so that we can all see the screen. I open my phone and turn Find My IPhone on. I press on Carma’s phone and sure enough a location pops up.
“It’s close,” I say, “I’m pretty sure my brother and his friend stayed somewhere around this place before he went to uni.”
“Right, I’m going to this place. Who else is?” Becka asks.
“Me, it’s my phone.” I reply, “So that means you two are staying.” Kaiko and Logan nod.
“When will we go?”
“I’m free tomorrow.” I reply.
“Tomorrow then. Eleven. Outside the school gates.” Becka says before turning to Kaiko and Logan. “We’ll call you if we find her and if it’s more than ten hours after we leave tomorrow and you don’t hear anything from us, call the police.” They nod once again.
“I guess we should be going.” Kaiko says.
“Yeah, I’m not sure what time my mum’s going to be back.”
“Oh, yeah, your mum. Where is she?” Logan asks.
“She’s out with Genette, should be gone for the whole evening but just in case.”
“Yeah, better safe than sorry. Your mum’s terrifying when she’s angry.” Logan says.
“Tell me about it.” I say as we share a small smile.
We make our way downstairs and they begin to put their shoes back on silently and as I open the door I offer them all a smile. “We’ll find her. That’s why we have this plan, right. So we need trust ourselves that it will work.”
They nod, “Bye Mae,” They say, not quite in unison.
“Bye guys. See you tomorrow, Becka.”
“Tomorrow,” She says over her shoulder.