It was the day after the dreadful Halloween dance last night. I was still tucked on my bed barely slept, thinking of all the things that had happened last night. Good thing also that today was a declared holiday, so that was why I was still rolling on my bed despite it was already past 9 a.m.
I grabbed my phone on the nightstand and checked on it. I was also eagered to receive a text message or email from Monica. I still had her phone.
When I slid open my phone, unfortunately there was no text message or email from her. But there was a mesaage from Dylan.
How RU?, he texted.
I wanted to get mad at him since he was the main reason why I was in the spotlight last night. But I have to blame Deena also. She was the one who made the scene out of it. Now my kiss with Dylan and catfight with Deena were both uploaded on our schoolmates' social media accounts.
I guessed now everyone knew the new girl. I closed my phone ignoring the message from Dylan.
Rising from my bed, I went to my mirror and looked at myself. My brown hair was a tousle of mess while my eyes were red from the lack of sleep.
I had an errand to do today. I needed to go Monica's house to check on her.
But I didn't know where she lives. And that was when Rayven popped into my mind. He might knew where she lives.
After I showered and dressed myself in plain shirt and tight pants, I went to knock on Rayven's door. I knocked three times before he answered.
He pulled open the door and expectedly his appearance was someone who just woke up.
"Is there a problem?" he asked while wiping his eyes.
"Actually, I have a question to ask. Is there any chance that you know where Monica lives?" I fished out Monica's phone from my pocket and showed it to him. "I have to return this to her. Plus I want to check on her. I have this nagging feeling that something had happened, and I just want remove it from my system."
Rayven looked like he was still dozing off but shook his head. "Never had the chance to go to her house. Is that all? I still need to sleep we came home like around 1 a.m. already."
I shook my head and descend downstairs.
Taking a big sigh, I found that no one was in the living and dining room. I double checked my surrounding expecting to see the familair heads of my mom and James. Unfortunately, all I found was a note on the table.
Out for grocery!
Based from the handwriting, it was Mom's. I pulled out mycellphone and texted someone who can answer my query.
Is there any chance that you know Monica's house? I texted and tapped the send button to Dylan.
I waited for a few seconds, and Dylan replied.
I texted what happened last night prior to Deena's scene and then he replied that he could accompany me to Monica's.
We planned to meet at the commercial center and would take the bus from there.
I took a bus ride from our house to the commercial center which only took fifteen minutes tops. The street was already buzzling with people already since there were no class and work today. I crossed the street and went to the bus stop that Dylan instructed me to.
Looking at the she, it was void of people. I guessed I had to wait for him. Then after a few moments, he arrived.
This was my first time seeing him in a casual clothes. He was wearing a blue shirt while both of his hands were tucked at the pockets of his pants.
Dylan spotted me and waved. Right on time also, the bus arrived at the shed, and we both climbed inside.
There were a lot of vacant seats, and we just chose the seats which was near from the back of the driver. I slid beside the window and Dylan followed.
The bus driver shut the door and pulled away from the bus stop.
While the bus sped off towards our destination, it was an awkward silence between me and Dylan. I was just looking through the window, appreciating the view.
"Hey, about last night," he started. From his voice, I could hear the awkwardness from it."I'm sorry for dragging you into that mess. I will try to talk to Deena to back off and explain everything to her."
I simply nodded at him. I wanted to reply, but it might led to a conversation I didn't want to talk about it yet. I was referring to the kiss I shared with Dylan.
It was pure silence for the whole duration of our ride until Dylan tapped me that we were near to our destination. The bus pulled over to the next stop, and both of us rose from our seats and stepped outside.
The whole neighborhood looked like the same from mine. There were houses which were all separated by green bushes they'd planted when they built the houses.
We strolled the street for a few meters until we stopped in front of a beige color two story house.
We stepped on the porch then Dylan knocked on the door. Tapping on our shoes, we waited for a few seconds before someone pulled open the door.
We were greeted by a woman with short hair and a telltale of silver strands around it. Her face had resemblance to Monica, and when my eyes landed on hers, they were puffed probably from crying.
And I had a bad feeling about it.
The woman who greeted us was in fact Monica's mother. We introduced ourselves as her classmates which she let us into her house. She led us in their living room where a boy around 7 years old was sitting on the coach watching TV.
Dylan and I took the seat and Monica's mother took the opposite side. She apoligized to us for seeing her in this sorry state. She was worried about the safety of her daughter. Monica didn't come home since last night. She tried calling Monica's phone but no one was answering.
I quickly pulled out Monica's phone and presented it to her.
Monica's mother eyes widen when she saw it from my gasp.
"Why did you have it? Where's Monica?"
"Mrs. Altares that was my question also. I didn't know that you were calling her phone. I guessed she muted it. So that's why I'm here to return it and check on her."
"I've already called her friends, but none of them know where she is also. That was when I called the police earlier," she sniffled. "But in order to call Monica as a missing person we have to wait after 24 hours from her disappearance which is a load of crap. What if something happened to her?"
I could feel the agony emitting from Monica's mom. Then I turned my head to Dylan's direction. His head was lowered deep in his thoughts.
From my peripheral, I saw Monica's brother approached his mother and locked her with his embrace.
I was curioused also why Monica gave me her phone. Why did I have this feeling that she knew that she will be gone?
"Is there anything off from Monica before the Halloween Dance?" Dylan inquired. I was surprised that he talked.
"Well, she used to go out than usual. Days before the Halloween she told me that she's following a story. Do you think it has something to do with her disappearance? Is she in trouble?"
Dylan and I looked at each other. Looking at his handsome face that he was also thinking the same thing. Monica might be following the story of the missing teenagers.
"If I know that something like this will happen, I wish we never move out to this place," Mrs. Altares remorsed while wiping her wet eyes.
"Are you also not from this town? You see I just move out to this town when my mother remarried," I asked.
"Yes, we're not really from here. We used to live in the north, but we have to move here due to my work. Anyways, I have several calls to attend to. Is there anything else I can do for you?"
Dylan and I shook our heads. Before leaving, I gave Mrs. Altares a big hug and told her that I would update her if I hear anything concerning Monica.
I arrived at my house before dusk came to the small town of La Orden. There was a heavy silence between Dylan and me when we rode back to the commercial center. We waved goodbye to each other and jumped to another bus ride going back to my home.
Headed straight to my room, I laid on my bed staring at the ceiling.
It was still hard to process that Monica was now missing. She was just laughing and dancing with me last night. And when I saw earlier how miserable her mother was, my chest started to get heavy.
I lost sense of time thinking of so many things when I heard my phone chimed. I grabbed my phone and found an email notification.
Clicking it open, I was directed to my email app and to my surprise it was from Monica Altares.
I quickly rose from my bed and tapped the email.
"Hi Yuno, if you've received this message, then I'm guessing I went missing now (or abducted). It was a scheduled email if I didn't delete this email before 8pm today. But since I'm missing now, I need you to pick up something in my locker. There 'might' be something in my locker linking this missing teenagers (including me) but I still far from solving it. Here's my locker combination - 9834. Now it's in your hands to continue my work. I know it's unfair to pass it on to you. But I do believe you can figure this out. I asked someone to check on you. And I was surprised, one of your favorite hobbies is sleuthing back in the big city. No wonder that the case of Raymond and Jane piqued your interest.
"Also, don't be surprised that I will be giving to you my phone. Looking at the stories of Raymond and Jane, it took time to declare them as a missing person cases because of their phones. I want to tell everyone immediately that I am missing, and something serious is going on in this town.
"I want to tell you more but my thoughts are incoherent right now. But I want to tell you this. Be wary of this group of highschool boys. I don't have enough evidence to pin or connect the case to them, but they have been lurking around me wherever I go these past few days since -
"You will know once you find the item in my locker. Take care and I hope we will meet again soon. And if you're going to consult the police, please be cautious. Make sure that you can trust that person. The timeline of the cases and the lack of urgency from them seem odd."
The message ended, and I was left speechless. Monica knew that she will be missing or abducted. And to add that, she did some digging back in my old school.
Yes, I had a history of sniffing my nose to some places that I was not supposed to, but that was because I was preparing myself to solve one of the mystery about my father's case. But that was another story to tell.
For now, I had to inform someone.
We have to find Monica. She knew that she will be missing. Let's talk tomorrow.
That was the message I sent to Dylan.
Then my phone chimed in again. I thought Dylan quickly replied, but it was another email. But this time, it was from the owner of the blog - Out of Order.
"I'm interested to exchange information. I'll message you tomorrow where we can meet."
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