I awaken to flashing red and blue lights outside my bedroom window. I slowly lift my head from my pillow and rub the sleep from my eyes not fully comprehending what is transpiring. I reach for my glasses almost knocking them from my dresser onto the floor. I climb out of bed and walk towards the window clumsily tripping over something on the floor. I almost turn on the lights but then think to myself that might not be a good idea because someone might see me watching. I peer through the curtains making sure I am not seen. I push back an an annoying strand of curly hair preventing it from falling into my eyes. I observe a boy with long black dreads sitting in the back of a police car with his forehead pressed against the back of the passenger seat. Sasha, my best friend, whom I haven't seen or talked to in months is being led away from the vacant house across the street from me by two police officers. One officer is guiding her towards the police car while the other officer opens the back door on the drivers side. Her small hands are bound behind her back in handcuffs. Her eyes look puffy as if she may have been crying. She looks strange, as if a small smile is threatening her lips. The flashing siren lights turn her brown skin red then blue simultaneously . The street lights reflect the blood smeared on her pink and purple flowered nightgown. Blood slowly trickles down the inside of her legs onto her feet as she walks slowly to the police car. Sasha looks up towards my window and for a split second, I think she sees me watching. I back away from the window quickly and jump back into my bed hiding in the covers with fear consuming me. So many questions are racing through my mind. Why is Sasha outside in the middle of the night? Most importantly, why is she covered in blood?
I hear the police car start, two car doors slam shut, and then the sound of tires against the pavement as the police car drives away. The flashing red and blue lights finally fade away and all is quiet once again. I pick up my phone and notice several text messages from my other best friend Jonathon explaining why he could not come over tonight. When he didn't show by 8pm, I knew he wasn't coming. Him standing me up had become all too common these days. It seems as if both of my best friends have deserted me. Sasha first and now Jonathan. I finally fell asleep around 9:00pm while reading a new book I had just downloaded off of amazon so I didn't notice the messages that Jonathon had Ieft. I text Jonathon back now to inform him of what I had just witnessed. Hopefully he will still be awake because I really need to talk to him about it.
** Are you asleep? I text
** Nah** he responds. I can't believe you still awake though. It's almost 3am.*
**I just saw something so weird. I reply. I saw Sasha coming out of that empty house across the street in cuffs with the police. She had blood on her nightgown and there was a boy in the back of the police car. I couldn't see his face though but he had dreads**
**That's crazy. We should go to that house tomorrow and see what we can find out. Mostly everybody will be working so no one should see us. I hope Sasha is alright**
**I hope so too. I text in agreement. I guess you can tell me about your new boo thang you been ditching me for. See ya tomorrow.** I end the text.
I put my phone back on the dresser and pull the covers over my head hoping daylight comes quickly. The neighborhood is quiet once again and darkness blankets my room. I finally begin to drift off to sleep with disturbing images still trying to enter my mind ready to create a nightmare. I pray Sasha is ok but from what I saw tonight I know she is not. I noticed she had begun behaving strangely the last week of school before summer break. She had become so preoccupied with some new guy she recently met online. I tried calling and texting her a few times to see if we could hang out but she never answered or texted back. Tonight was the first time I had seen her since school let out.
I tossed and turned for most of the night. It seemed as if I was having the same dream replay over and over in my head about Sasha being taken away in handcuffs covered in blood. Only in my dreams, Sasha had blood pouring from her eyes, nose, and mouth and she was pointing at me in the window. I awaken from my nightmare drenched in sweat and sit up in bed. My purple nightgown sticking to my body. My heart nearly pounding out of my chest. The images of last night still vivid in my mind. I look around the room and welcome the sunlight peeking through my curtains warming my skin. I am thankful for the smell of coffee brewing and pancakes cooking. I am so grateful that I'm safe in my bed. My mom is downstairs cooking my favorite breakfast. She always cooks a pancake breakfast for me before she goes on a nursing assignment. She is a travel nurse and is normally gone for about a week at a time, sometimes less. I jump out of bed and go into the bathroom to shower. I pull my thick curly brown hair on top of my head loosely allowing some of the curls to escape around my face. I put on a pair of black yoga pants, black tshirt, and black Toms. If I am going to investigate, I have to look the part. I bounce down the stairs and into the kitchen. My mom is standing near the stove fixing my plate. She must have heard me when I was in the shower.
" Hey Hannah Banana" she tells me playfully as she hands me a plate of pancakes, eggs, and strawberries. " Did you hear about that poor girl the police found across the street last night." she says in her gossiping voice as she pushes her black wavy hair away from her face.
" Mom, why are you whispering? I ask with laughter in my voice. Nobody's here but us" I say trying not to laugh.
" Yeah I know about it" I reply back reluctantly . "I watched the whole thing out of my bedroom window last night." I say my voice serious now." I barely slept at all. "Mom that girl you saw last night is Sasha Banks" I say with disbelief and shock in my voice.
"That was Sasha?" my mom repeats as if she doesn't understand. "Janice called me first thing this morning and told me about it. She said the police think they were performing some kind of ritual or something. I must have been really tired if I slept through all that without waking up."
My mom was so shocked to find out that the girl from last night was my best friend Sasha. Sasha used to sleepover at my house quite often and my mom always treated her like a second daughter. She told me on several occasions that she didn't have a close relationship with her mother so she really liked spending time with my mom. She never went into detail about why her and her mom didn't get along and I didn't push the issue. People at school used to gossip and say how weird her mom was. Sasha never invited me to her house even though she lived only a street over from me. I thought she was just embarrassed because her house was kind of old. I did get a glimpse of her mom once when she picked her up from school for a doctors appointment but I didn't notice anything odd about her physically. She just looked really mean and her eyes seemed as if they could read your mind and reveal every secret you are trying to keep. She didn't look anything like Sasha to me either. Sasha was a very pretty girl with long thick hair that came just past her shoulders. Her toffee colored skin clear and smooth and her brown eyes were filled with warmth and kindness. When I saw her last night, she looked just the opposite. Her hair looked unkempt and ragged and her eyes were lifeless and piercing just like her mother's.
I give my mom hugs and kisses before she leaves on another work assignment and promise to keep the house clean while she's away. She will only be gone a few days this time thankfully. I hate when she leaves but I know that this is how the bills get paid. It helps that my grandmother doesn't live far away if I should need anything. My mom and I moved here to Louisiana a year ago after my dad died. Atlanta , Ga held too many sad memories for us so we decided we needed a change and moved to Lafayette, Louisiana. My mom took a nursing assignment here for a couple of weeks and fell in love with the city. She said she liked the suburban feel of the city but was also intrigued by how the city came alive after dark. My grandmother on my father's side already lived here so my mother knew she would have someone near me when she was at work for extended periods of time. My grandmother disapproved of her leaving me for so long but she understood why my mom did it. My mother and grandmother are not close but they have loving me in common so I guess they tolerate each other for my sake.
Jonathan was the first friend that I made when I first moved here. We had most of the same classes in school and became fast friends when we were lab partners in biology. He was already friends with Sasha and the three of us were inseparable until Sasha started hanging out with the mystery boy she hooked up with. I wonder if the guy with dreads is the same guy Sasha has been seeing?
My phone vibrates with a message from Jonathan. **Are you ready? I'm about to come over.*
**Yeah** I reply back.
Jonathan arrived in about 10 minutes dressed in a black Tshirt, black jeans, and black Vans. His hair is neat and looks as if he just got a haircut. He stands about 6ft tall with a muscular physique. He is so good looking that he can have his pick of any girl which kind of intimidates me.
" Hey he says and shifts his eyes away from my lower body quickly. " Why are you wearing those? He is referring to my yoga pants."
" Cause they are comfortable." I say in an annoyed voice. " Why?"
" I don't know" he scoffs stumbling over his words. "Let's go" he said motioning with his hands for me to walk out the door. As I walk towards the door, I notice Jonathan step back so that I wouldn't touch him as I walk by. Why is he being so weird?
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