That Friday, Laura was in her history class waiting for Mr. Thorton to show up. Her mind though was still reeling from the shock that she had got from when James and she saw who Anthony was. Out of everyone she thought could be Anthony, he was the last one she thought it would be. It did make sense though. He seemed to know a lot about what had happened and seemed to be one of the only few left in town who knew the truth.
Mr. Thorton came into the classroom. “I’m trusting you all completed the report.” He said as he looked at the class. “I’ll collect them now.” With that, Mr. Thorton went around the class, collecting the report from each student. He stopped by Laura as he took her report. He noticed that she looked nervous. It was probably because she had gone to him for help and didn’t know if he would play favorites. If that was the case, she didn’t have to worry. He wasn’t going to play favorites.
“Now that I have these, I want to remind you all that just because it’s prom night tomorrow, that it doesn’t give you the right to get drunk or cause an accident.” Mr. Thorton looked at the class as he said that. “The last thing we need is another tragic accident like the one that happened to Jessica when James murdered her.”
Laura shifted a bit in her seat. She was nervous about being in the school with him being there. She looked around the classroom. None of the students knew the truth about who he was or that he had been a part of the old legend. She wasn’t sure if she was safe with all of the students there because he knew that she was looking into the murder.
She looked at Mr. Thorton. It was time to ask him the question that she wanted to have answered since she saw who Anthony was in the present. “Mr. Thorton. There was one thing that I think everyone here would like to know about the days around Jessica’s murder.” She told Mr. Thorton.
Mr. Thorton looked at Laura before he smiled. “I’m sorry Ms. Rogers but I’m not giving out extra credit for sharing your report.” He told her. “Like I said, I don’t play favorites.” Laura forced a smile and shook her head. “Actually I was wondering if you could share with the class one thing.” She explained. “What ever happened to Anthony Colby?” She noticed that Mr. Thorton and her class were paying close attention to her. “I mean according to the newspapers and the legend, he just disappeared without a trace. I thought that maybe a teacher like you, someone who knows the truth about the value of history would know the truth about what happened to him.”
Mr. Thorton was quiet. Laura noticed that everyone was now looking at him. No doubt everyone wanted to know what he knew now. That was good. It meant her plan was working.
“Ms. Rogers, no one really knows what happened to Anthony Colby after the murder.” Mr. Thorton said in what sounded like a forced voice. “Reporters, friends and family all looked for him but it was like he just vanished.” Mr. Thorton shook his head. “Not even the teachers here knew what happened to him. It wasn’t until after the end of the school year that they even removed him from the student roster.”
Mr. Thorton looked at the rest of the class. “It’s not everyday that your teachers have to admit to not knowing the answer that their students want.” He told them. “Anthony’s disappearance was the greatest mystery for the teachers, his classmates, even the town.”
Laura wondered how her class would react if they knew that Anthony was actually in the building with them. He was someone that they’ve seen each day without even knowing it. That the boy who had run away was actually in town still and hiding in plain sight. That the so-called hero could be the actual killer.
“Mr. Thorton. You said that you were here during that same time.” Laura said. “I’m sure the class would like to hear your theory about Anthony’s disappearance if you did see him here at the school for the brief time that he was here.” She said. “You did say that being there to witness history being made was one of the most important things a person could do.”
Mr. Thorton looked at Laura. He looked uncomfortable. “I did say that witnessing history being made is important because your first hand account is important for people to know.” He said. “However, I don’t know what happened to Anthony. If I had to give a theory, it’s this. That he was heartbroken from losing Jessica and that it was too much for him to bear that he ended up running away to get away from the place where he had lost her.”
Mr. Thorton then sat down in his seat. “Now class, open your textbooks to page five hundred and six.” He told them, making it clear that the conversation about the murder and Anthony was over.
After school that day, Laura was walking home as quickly as she could. She didn’t feel safe being by herself on the streets. Even if it was a small town and there were people around, she seriously doubted that any of them would be able to help her if he caught up to her. No doubt by now he knew that she suspected him of being Anthony and that she might have suspected him of being the real killer.
Laura looked over her shoulder. There was no sign of anyone stalking her. She wasn’t sure if that made her feel any better or not. Not seeing him following her made her wonder if he had something planned for later like during the prom the next night. Make it look like another classmate did it to hide his tracks and to make sure whatever secret he had stayed that way.
From his car, he watched Laura walking home through his tinted windows. His one hand was on the wheel and he was rubbing the wheel with his thumb. He was waiting to see who she would talk to. The way she had been talking in school made him realize that she knew who he was and that she knew more than she was letting on. It didn’t matter though. He would make sure that the girl never spoke again before the end of prom. No one was going to ruin the legend of what had happened in town all those years ago. She would just be considered cursed to share the same fate as Jessica because of how much Laura looked like her.