Tag: short story

Disappeared – Short Story

I sat in my room, a bunch of pictures sprawled all over the bed. I didn’t know why I had this sudden urge to take out all the old photographs. I spent the last hour finding the one I wanted. When I saw Ben today, I couldn’t help but think of her. I use to hang out with them sometimes, just the three of us; me, Ben and her. There are so many unanswered questions. It’s been years.  It’s an unsaid rule in our family; whenever we meet no one asks about her. No one even mentions her. I don’t like it, acting like she didn’t exist because she mattered and she was real. She was a very important part of my life. I think about it from time to time, I want to know what happened. “You have to learn to let things go.” she always told me. But I couldn’t let it go, not without knowing what really happened. I have spent a lot of time revisiting that day hoping each time I might find something, some clue…

“You’re late.” I said the moment I saw her. She rolled her eyes at me. She thought I was the silly one that I expected her to be here on time when history said otherwise. “I am on time. You are early.” She said and took my arm. “We should do something different today. Hmm I know, I’ll take you shopping then we will go that lake you like so much. We’ll take some sandwiches along, have a picnic.” I was a bit shocked. She always wanted to do something epic, her suggesting we do something normal made me a bit uneasy. Then she giggled, “I am just kidding. Oh, Jen, you are so easy to tease, that’s one of the reasons you are my favorite cousin.“  Yup, back to normal. My cousin, Clara, never gave a second thought about anyone’s opinion.  People thought she didn’t care but I knew her, she cared too much. She did what she wanted; she had big dreams about her life that often was the reason for her conflicts with her parents. Being just one year apart we had always been close. I wish I could have said something that day, anything that might have changed her mind. She became quiet next to me, too quiet. “Something wrong?” I asked.  She was my best friend. I knew she would tell me when she was ready but she never did.  She gave me a serious look and then smiled, “Nothing to worry about little sis. Let’s go. I have an awesome day planned. “She shrugged it off, changing the topic and we spent a crazy day together. Every moment spent with Clara was crazy and her enthusiasm so infectious. Little did I know those were the last moments I would ever spend with her?

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I still remember that day as if it was yesterday. That was the last day anyone ever saw her. I was the last person to her. Her parents called the next evening asking us to send her back home. She told them she was spending the night at our house. Her parents became frantic, they went to the police, filed a missing complaint. They called all her friends to see if she was with anyone if they had any information. No one knew a thing. She was gone, just vanished. For months we all were disturbed, every time the phone rang, we thought it was her. But she never called. It’s been ten years now. She disappeared from our lives, just like that without a trace. She was a big part of my life, I depended on her. She was gone leaving us all behind, leaving me behind. Ben mentioned her today; he was one of her friends. Seeing him brought a rush of memories and I couldn’t help but ponder over Clara. It bothers him too I guess, not knowing. For me, that’s the worst part. If I know the reason I can try to understand, move on; have closure. I don’t know what happened to her if she is alive or dead. Looking at the picture of us from that day which we took at some carnival, I hope she would have told me. I still hope that she is out there somewhere and she is happy. No one else believes this, they think she’s dead. They think she got involved in something she couldn’t get out of. She did have her fair share of troublemaking but this was too drastic even for her. She would have been thirty years old this year, but here I sit by myself looking at a picture of us on her birthday. My aunt blamed me for a long time. She believed I knew where she had gone and refused to tell them. I explained to her over and over that if I knew I would have stopped her. It’s hard thinking about where she must be. There has to be a reason, something happened to her. I’ll never forget her last words to me “ Never change, little sis.” Maybe that was her way of saying goodbye. I should have known she would never say something like this out of the blue but I was nineteen, I dismissed it without a thought. She had always been a bit mysterious and larger than life. She told me everything, I believed but I think she told me only the good things and dealt with the bad stuff on her own. I always thought that no one knew her better than me but now I realize that no one knew her at all.