The next day at school, Laura was at the school library going through the old yearbooks. She was trying to find the Nineteen Seventy-Four yearbook. She was certain that if she found it, she could find out who Anthony was and talk to him if he was still in town. According to the newspaper, he had disappeared shortly a few days after the murder. Laura hadn’t expected there to be so many yearbooks. She didn’t think that the library would have such a large collection of them given how small the student body was. She thought that there would only be one yearbook for four years and a lot fewer yearbooks.
Laura really needed to find him and she hoped that he was still in town. She had to know what he had found the night that Jessica had been murdered. He had said that he had only seen Jessica’s murdered body. Nothing about James being in the room. Laura knew that if Anthony was telling the truth, that whoever had been in her room the night before, claiming to be James, had been lying about it.
Laura smiled once she found the yearbook. She opened it to the senior students’ pages. She looked through the pictures and names of the students. “Where are you Anthony?” She asked quietly. She stopped scrolling through the pictures when she saw that where his picture was supposed to be, there was a blank space above his name. Laura groaned and leaned her head back. So much for trying to find Anthony so she could get answers.
“Can I help you with something?” A creepy voice asked. Laura jumped and turned around. It was Principal Future. He did not look happy to see her there. She wasn’t happy to see him either. He had scared her by just talking like that. “What are you doing here? Don’t you have a class to be in right now?” Principal Future asked her in a disapproving voice.
Laura closed the yearbook. “I had a study hall and thought I would try to find out as much as I could about the murder that happened in my house years ago.” She told Principal Future. Unless this school did study halls differently from her last one, Laura knew that she had every right to be in the library. Her study hall teacher back at her old school would always let her go to the school library during that time to get onto a computer. Of course sometimes she would go there just to spend time with Ted and pretend they were working on a school project.
Principal Future looked at the yearbook. “Oh yes.” He said. “The unfortunate murder of Jessica Smith.” The way he said that gave Laura the chills. It was almost as if the Principal knew something about the murder that she didn’t. “I understand you and your father moved into the Abandoned House.” The Principal continued. “I can imagine it wasn’t easy finding out that the home you have now hasn’t had anyone living there in nearly fifty years.” Principal Future shook his head. “What were you hoping to find out from the yearbook that you couldn’t learn from a newspaper article?” He asked. “I’m sure that you would have found more useful information from there.”
“I did find useful information there, Principal Future.” Laura replied in what she hoped sounded like a respectful voice. “But I was hoping to see what Anthony, the date who found Jessica’s dead body, looked like. There wasn’t any picture of him in the article and he wasn’t in the yearbook either.” She explained. Laura wasn’t sure if that would be a good reason for the Principal. She didn’t care though if it was or not. She wanted to find out as much as she could about that terrible night.
Principal Future was silent and he wasn’t blinking at all. Laura wasn’t sure if that was good or bad. The man already creeped her out quite a bit. The last thing she needed was to give him a reason to have her on his bad side. Laura knew that her dad wouldn’t be thrilled if that happened. She wondered how many students were already on his list.
“I’m not sure why you would want to find him but I do know you wouldn’t find him in there.” Principal Future finally said after a few seconds. “The photographer who does this school’s yearbook photos usually does them in the fall so they would be ready for the students in the spring. Anthony, if I recall correctly, didn’t come here until a few days before prom. The principal at that time had to call the company to add his name to the senior section and to see if they could do his picture. They couldn’t add his picture but they did add his name.” He told Laura.
The way that Principal Future was talking made Laura wonder if he had been there back then. “Did you know Jessica or her ex, Principal Future?” She asked.
Principal Future shook his head. “They were before my time here.” He replied. “I’m only going by a guess as to why he wouldn’t be in the yearbook based off of my many years here.” Principal Future glared at Laura. “I’m not sure who told you about it here or why you’re looking into it, but I suggest you drop it.” Principal Future warned Laura. With that, Principal Future walked off.
Laura watched him leave before she reopened the yearbook. She wasn’t sure if she entirely believed the Principal and his story. She looked through the students’ names in the senior section first before going through the other grades. Sure enough, there was no sign that Principal Future had been a student at the school during that time. Laura closed the yearbook and put it back on the shelf before looking at the exit. If Principal Future hadn’t been there when the murder had happened, why did he act like he knew something about it that no one else did? Laura shook her head. She was overthinking it. She then looked at her watch. She had to get going to her next class.
As Laura left, she didn’t notice that she was being watched. As soon as she was out of the library, he went to the shelves where the yearbooks were. He took out the yearbook that Laura had been looking at and opened it to the page that had a picture of James, Jessica and a guy who was standing behind them in the distance. It was hard to tell who the third guy was. He was too far in the distance for the camera to get a clear shot of him but close enough that it was impossible to miss him. He ripped the page out, folded it and put it into his pocket. He then put the yearbook back on the shelf and left the library.