I stare at the article headline for a moment before I start to read. How is this possible? Ten years? Why haven’t I seen her before? I look at the rest of the article:
Holly Linkletter, age fifteen, was last seen last Thursday afternoon, around 3:05. She was with Emily Klane, age fourteen. The two girls were walking back from school together when Emily got home. “I don’t understand. Holly lives only a block away. If something happened… I should’ve been able to hear her,” Emily says. If you have seen Holly or have any information of her whereabouts, please contact this number:
I nearly close my laptop before I think: Maybe this Emily Klane can help. She may have seen something else…maybe. I look her up online; there isn’t anything else about her or Holly that’s useful. But after over an hour of sleuthing (or internet stalking, if you’re the type) I find her number. I decide that it’s safer than if I went to wherever she lived. That would just be creepy.
I hesitate before I dial her number; what if she thinks I’m a creep? A stalker? Something? I dunno how many people have pestered her about Holly over the years. But then I remember Holly’s wails and screams, the way she didn’t look at me, but behind me. She was scared out of her mind. I want to help her find peace.
I dial in Emily’s number and press the talk button. The phone rings five times before she picks up.
“Hello?” she asks.
“I’m Jay Mayer,” I begin, but she cuts me off.
“Excuse me, but who? Sorry, never heard of you. If you’re selling something, hang up.”
“No! I’m not selling something, I promise. I was just wondering if you could tell me about Holly Linkletter.” I cringe at my own words. Oh God, I should’ve planned this out. I’m an idiot!
She sighs. “Oh my God. How many times do I have to rehash this? Just because I was hanging out with her when she disappeared? I’m sick of this. Don’t call me again, or I’m calling the cops.”
“No! Please, I think I may have some information,” I say.
“It’s been ten years. How would you have any information?”
I think back. Both times when I saw Holly, she was in a specific location; near the school. When she freaked out, she looked behind me… She was looking at one of the houses. “I have a guess as to where she went the day she vanished.” Emily remains quiet. “But you guessed that already, didn’t you?”
“No one believed me. They checked the house. Nothing.”
“Listen, ma’am, could we meet at the *****(name taken out for confidentiality) coffee shop tomorrow? Say, 1:00?” I ask. It’s a busy place; people are there. I’m wary about meeting strangers in private places; who isn’t?
“Fine. But only for ten minutes. I dunno whether you’re a perv or not. Just tell me your information. That’s all.”
I agree, and she hangs up.
To be continued