Looking For Laura: Part 1

Hi readers! I have decided to release the story I have been writing right here on Megan’s Musings, part by part, in weeks to come! My thought process here is that people will come back each week and get hooked on the story! Also, I hope to see the readers positing comments and sharing their predictions and theories about where the story is going! I really hope you enjoy, here is part 1.

Looking for Laura: Part 1

The
world can be a scary place. People die tragically. Diseases spread. People go
missing, only to have their mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers and friends
search for them. Some people go missing and no one searches. The man in front
of me on the stairwell is below me, descending as I follow close behind. I can
see the top of his head, covered with a thick head of gray and white hair.
Maybe he is a father, maybe even a grandfather. I bet if someone he loved went
missing he would search restlessly.

As I step outside, the air is brisk
but I can’t see my breath yet. The sky is gray just like the man’s hair. I
cross the street as cars wait impatiently. The people inside them are anxiously
awaiting the light change. Like me, they are probably on their way home. Some
are clicking away on their phones, texting about later plans I’m sure.

My eyes veer from the pavement ahead
to the all buildings around me. The windows are in perfect rows. Each has an
air-conditioner. The building is gray, like the sky. Like the man’s hair.

He has disappeared from sight. Maybe
he turned on a side street somewhere. It’s my turn to do the same.

The sounds of the cars honking are
more distant now. The only sound I can hear now is my shoes on the pavement. I
don’t see anyone around. Trees hang low over my head. They block out the gray
sky above me, making my path darker than it normally would be. My breath is
frequent and my heartbeat rapid, I move more quickly now towards my door.

The key goes in, the key turns. I
make my way through the door and the door clicks closed behind me. I sigh.

I made it home safely yet again.

——————-

Molly Teslow didn’t understand why
Laura had turned her phone off. The 5”6 brown-haired, blue-eyed woman was
always glued to her Blackberry. In fact, she barely ever turned it off, except
when she wanted to update it, and even then it was only five minutes at a time.

What Molly couldn’t understand more
was why Laura would have her phone turned off ten minutes before she was
supposed to come pick her up to go shopping. Sure, she was late once in a
while, but Molly had already tried calling her twice and both times the phone
had gone straight to voice mail.

Molly lived in Willow Springs, a
smaller town in Northern Ohio. The population was just over 20,000. She lived
in a house with her husband, Mark, and had one son, Mathew, who she dropped at
her mother’s house hours earlier to spend the day with Grandma. Mark was at
work.

Molly was standing in the living
room, peering through the glass of the front door that showed a clear view of
her driveway. She wanted to make sure she didn’t miss Laura, even though she
knew that Laura almost always sent her a text that she was on her way or that
she was leaving.

Molly and Laura had made the plans a
few days ago, on Wednesday. The two were best friends. They met in college, and
had stayed friends ever since. Of course, that was plenty of years ago as both
of the women were 36 now.

Molly sighed, making her way to the
couch in the living room. She sat down. Should I call her one more time? She
wondered. She felt silly for worrying, but at the same time the concern was
bubbling in her, like a pot of soup that had been left on the burner too long.  Laura had always been in contact with Molly.
If an afternoon went by without a text between the two, it was out of the
ordinary. The last text Molly received from Laura was at 7:30 that morning, to
confirm their shopping trip.

Molly flipped open her phone to
re-read the text. Maybe there had been something she missed. Still on for
today?
Laura had written. Molly had replied, You know it. 11? Let’s get
lunch.
And then, at 8:17 am, Laura had written I’ll be there.

It was now 11:19 and there was still
no sign of Laura. Molly felt her stomach growl. She hadn’t eaten since before
she dropped Mathew off, and that had been only a bagel. Where is Laura?

Molly’s thoughts were interrupted by
the ringing of her phone. She jumped, startled. For a split second she thought
it might have been Laura, calling to let her know she was sorry and that she’d
be there in a few minutes. But the caller ID displayed the name of her husband.

“Hello?” Molly answered.

“Hey, did I startle you?” Mark
chuckled.

“No, I just thought it might be
Laura, we’re supposed to go shopping.”

“Oh right, that’s today.”

“Yeah, she said she’d be here at
eleven and haven’t heard from her.”

“Oh, well it’s only been twenty
minutes. She’s probably running late.,” Mark suggested.

“Maybe but I’ve tried calling her
twice and it takes me straight to voice mail. She never turns her phone off.”

There was a pause.

“Give it time. I’m sure she’s run
into some sort of delay. And you know, she could even be on the phone. If that
were the case, it wouldn’t ring.”

“I hadn’t thought of that,” Molly
admitted. “Man, I’m getting hungry though. How is work?”

“Oh, it’s fine. I don’t estimate
being here much past five.”

“Where are you? You sound like
you’re driving.”

“Oh, yeah, my boss wanted me to pick
him up some more paper on my break.”

“I see. Well, drive safe.”

“Will do. Love ya.”

“Love you too.”

Molly hung up. Mark worked for
Locknum Insurance and often ran errands for his boss. He worked in an office
setting, eight-thirty in the morning till five at night. Molly only worked part
time, as taking care of Mathew was a full-time job itself. The second-grader
was a handful.

As if Molly and Laura weren’t close
enough, they also worked together. They were both the owners of a greeting card
business, Magic Greetings. They had a five-member staff, and as the
owners, Molly and Laura had flexibility with the time they’d spend at the
store. So, they were former classmates, co-workers, and best friends. They were
practically sisters, minus a genetic connection.

Molly glanced at the time on her
cell phone. Eleven-thirty. She decided to call Laura’s phone one more time. She
knew this woman well enough to know that something wasn’t quite right. At the
very least, she had run in to some sort of delay, like Mark said.

She clicked the call button on her
phone. No ring. Barely any pause. Just the same words echoing through her ear. Hi,
it’s Laura, leave me a message and I will call you as soon as I can.

            Molly hung up. She had already left a message and texted
twice. Maybe she had been a little excessive with her attempts to reach Laura.
But she didn’t care. She knew Laura and she knew this was out of the ordinary.

She sighed yet again. She started
thinking it was time to get some lunch.

———————————–

Every drop of water in my glass is
so clear, clean, and cold. I wrap my hand so tightly around the glass that if
the muscles in my arms were more toned, and if I were stronger, I might break
the glass into tiny little pieces. And those pieces would scatter all over the
floor like a broken heart after a love is lost.

But what would protect my feet but
my tiny little flip flops. Blue like the sky on a particularly sunny day.
Although I have never actually thought that color could be captured. These flip
flops do it well. But what about my eyes?

My flip flops and I walk on the hard
linoleum floor.

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