August 12, 2013
Note: This entry is from Sam Uley’s perspective
“Well I can’t just stay here for Christmas, Sam. If I did that, my dad would just drive up here and drag me back kicking and screaming if he had to,” Emily’s voice came through the receiver.
“I know. I understand that. My mom doesn’t have anybody to be with for Christmas,” I point out once again. “I don’t know. Maybe you should just go, and I’ll go to my mom’s.”
Emily lets out a long sigh that I know means she doesn’t like that. “I want you to meet my parents though, so…”
“Yeah, and I want to. I just—”
“I know, ” She finishes.
We’ve had this conversation so many times now, it just keeps circling back around without anything being decided. The doorbells rings, distracting me from what I was going to say. I’m sitting in the kitchen of my small mobile home which gets more and more lonely, the more time I spend with Emily in the house I bought her.
“I don’t know, Emily. Can’t we just decide later?”
“You’ve been saying ‘we’ll decide later’ for weeks now. I think we need to decide now.“
“Maybe we need to just let things fall into place. It’ll all work out, ” I say this to comfort her though I’m not sure of it myself since there’s hardly a week left until Christmas. The doorbell rings again and I start walking, flipping lights on in the dark house as I go. “I gotta go, Em. Someone’s here.”
She sighs again, “Fine. But this conversation is not over.”
“Okay, ” I say smiling at her bossiness. “Bye, Emi. Sleep well.”
“See you tomorrow, Sam.”
I snap the cell phone shut and open the door. The screen is still shut, but the porch light illuminates Seth Clearwater’s face.
What is he doing here? I wonder. It’s nearly eleven at night, long past Leah’s curfew when she was Seth’s age.
I open the screen door and gesture for him to come in.
“What’s up, Seth?” I ask.
“Hey, Sam. You haven’t talked to Leah, have you?”
“Uh, when? The last time we spoke I think was when Emily…” My voice trails off. I’m afraid to speak the words, afraid that saying them will bring bad luck.
Seth’s head hangs low, “Yeah, that’s what I guessed. Still had to know though. Thanks, Sam.” Seth moves toward the door.
Suddenly, my mind is conjuring up the reasons he would want to know. Maybe bad luck just follows me anyways.
“Wait!” I call out before he is off the porch. He turns, hopeful. “Why?”
“Leah…she’s missing,” Seth starts to ramble. “We all thought she was just sleeping in yesterday, but when mom went in to offer her lunch, she wasn’t there. So we talked to Charlie Swan and he said that if she was still missing at lunchtime today, then they could file a report. She’s eighteen but—” My heart speeds up and the sound of blood traveling through my veins overpowers my hearing. I may not have imprinted on Leah, but I still love and care about her.
“So everyone’s out looking for her now?” I ask interrupting.
“Yeah. Well, sorta. We’re all just talking to the people she might have said something to. Charlie’s idea. I think it’s pointless, since she probably doesn’t want to be found but…”
“So what do you think we should do?” I interrupt again.
“I don’t know. You know her as well as I do. So does—”
“Emily, ” We say in unison.
“Let’s go over to Emily’s, ” I say. “Where are your parents?”
“Home. Charlie’s there too.” Seth avoids my stare as we walk outside together. He climbs in the passenger seat of my car and I start it up. I narrow my eyes at him.
“Seth?” I ask after a few minutes. I turn to look at him for a moment, since the quiet roads of La Push at this hour require little attention.
“Do your parents know where you are right now?”
He continues to avoid my gaze, answering my question. He mumbles something incoherent.
“Well gosh. Now I’m a kidnapper and probably a suspect on your sister’s case. Thanks, ” I joke, trying to lighten the mood.
Seth only chuckles nervously, “Or else they’ll blame me.”
I can tell how worried Seth is about Leah and I don’t blame him. I’m the same way. We pull into the driveway of Emily’s and the automatic porch light comes on. I see Emily watching from the kitchen window. When she recognizes my car, she steps out onto the porch in a white bathrobe and pink pajama pants with multicolored polka dots on them. The corner of my mouth pulls up in a lazy smile. Emily looks so cute that I wish I was coming over just to spend time with her.
“Sam?” She inquires as we get out of the car in unison, “What’s wrong?”
“Leah, ” Seth answers. “She ran away.”
I see Emily’s face turn from wonder and confusion to worry.
She doesn’t even hesitate, “Give me one minute.”
She returns inside and I see her scurry through the house quickly flipping lights on and off again as she goes. Finally she comes outside again wearing the same clothes she had been earlier that day. I climb back in the driver’s seat and Emily into the passenger, since Seth has moved to the backseat. Seth catches Emily up on the events from the last few days.
Although the ride from Emily’s to the Clearwater’s is short, Seth appears to be exhausted and falls asleep on the way over.
Emily turns to me just as we pull off the main street.
“Any ideas?” She asks me.