Abandoned Lives

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Chapter 4: Camden

Something’s wrong. I just jerked awake for no reason at all and I’m full on panicking. There’s nothing around me to make me feel this way, which tells me it’s my sister. The only other time I’ve ever felt even a fraction of this was when that douche put out that fucking video and someone cornered her at school.

I reach over and grab my phone. It’s not late, only a little after 9. I pull up Candi’s number and try calling. I immediately get voicemail. What the hell? She NEVER cuts her phone off. And she especially wouldn’t do that when I’m not there with her. She’s always worried something will happen to me.

I jump up and throw on my jeans from last night, grabbing the T-shirt I threw over the end of the bed and my boots from beside the door. I have to go back. Right now. Not tomorrow. Everything I was taking with me is loaded in the truck and ready to go, anyway. I was just trying to get some sleep before driving back.

While I head out, I try to call her again. Still going to fucking voicemail. I pull over on the side of the road, putting my head down on the steering wheel. Waking up and moving to get to her hasn’t lessened the panic. It’s getting worse, like a worm crawling through my insides, eating everything in its path and growing larger by the second.

“FUCK!!” I punch the dash board. I start taking deep breaths, trying to calm down. Ok, she’s fine. I taught her how to handle herself. If anybody messes with her, they’ll get a not so nice surprise. Before pulling back onto the road, I pull up the browser on my phone and search for the local police in her area. I call them as soon as I have it and try to explain.

“Yes, sir. I’m trying to find out if someone can go out and check on my sister.”

“Why’s that, son?”

“She’s not answering her phone. That’s not like her. I’m in New York and she’s there alone. Any chance someone can just drive by her place and make sure she’s ok? She’s out there all alone, in the middle of nowhere.”

Once I give the address, he asks, “Son you sure that’s the address? Nobody’s lived in that house since that last family that… Well, nobody’s lived there in years. Hell, I thought they would have torn it down by now.”

“Yes sir. That’s it. She just moved in a few days ago.”

“Alright. Given the area, I’ll be glad to go up.”

He asks for my number so he can call me back once he checks it out and then he disconnects. Nice cops in that area. New York cops would have probably told me she was a grown woman and they couldn’t do anything. Thanking him, I hang up and pull back out onto the road. I at least have some reassurance that someone is checking in on her.

I’ve been driving for maybe 2 hours when my phone rings from an Unavailable number.

“Hello?”

“Camden? This is Officer Matthews.”

“Yes, sir. Is she alright?”

He blows out a breath, “Well, son, she wasn’t home.”

“Was her car there?”

“Blue Mustang?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Yep. It was in the driveway. No lights on in the house and no one answering the door.”

Something’s definitely not right. “Sir, she just moved there. She doesn’t know anyone to go out with. If she left home, she would have taken her car.”

“Well, I did get out and check around. There’s no signs of foul play. No indication of a break in. And I looked in a few windows. The only thing I saw was a normal home, just with the lights out. If she doesn’t turn up in a couple days, we can do a missing person’s report on her but, until then, there’s nothing else I can do.”

“Yeah, ok. Thanks for trying. I appreciate it. I’m driving back now, so I should be there in the morning. Hopefully she’s just asleep or something.”

“No problem. Listen… when you hear from her… or get home and find her safe… call me and let me know. I don’t like the thought of that girl being up there by herself.”

I assure him that I’ll call and hang up. I’m back to driving and trying to call Candi’s phone again. Still going straight to voicemail. At this point, I’m pushing this truck to its limit, driving 100 on the interstate. Hoping like hell I don’t get pulled over. I could honestly care less about the possible ticket. I just don’t want anything to slow me down.

Most people would think I’m being irrational, letting a feeling take over like that. I ignored it last time, though, and she needed me. It was after that that I taught her self-defense. I never want to see my sister put in another position where some ass hole is able to overpower her. If it hadn’t been for another student walking by… there’s no telling what would have happened to her.

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