I Hope She Comes Back.

Max left. My best friend left me. She went to Seattle for school. It’s been weeks without a call, a text, anything at all. To make things worse, my Dad… He got in a car wreck one day, going to pick my mom up from work. Maybe it was to get groceries, I don’t remember. I just know he’s not here anymore.

I drag my feet to my next class, not wanting anything to do with school. I walk into the science room and sit down, taking out my notebook. I begin to write down my feelings about Max, but class starts shortly after. I sigh, shoving my notebook in my bookbag and crossing my arms.

Time passes slowly, and I sigh heavily, wishing I could just go to Seattle and find Max. I’ve always wanted to get out of Arcadia, so why not just go there, like she did?

The bell finally rings and I stand up quickly, grabbing my stuff and walking swiftly out the door. “Hey!” I hear behind me, and look back, seeing a girl with brown hair walking towards me. I slow slightly, and she catches up to me. “Chloe, right?” She asks, and I nod. “I’m Rachel.” She says, and I smile softly.

~12 months later~

I hear the doorbell ring and run downstairs, opening the door swiftly. I see Rachel standing on the doorstep with her hands in her pockets, smiling brightly. “Hey gurl! You’re a minute late!” I say, crossing my arms. She hits my arm playfully before pulling out a set of car keys.

“You’re coming with me.” She says, grabbing my arm and pulling me towards her small blue car. “Okay, but to where?” I ask, and she grins, starting the car and beginnning to drive. “Rachel! Where are we going- Ohh…” I say, as we pull into a tattoo and piercing place.

“C’mon, Chlo. It’ll be fine.” She says, and I sigh, getting out of the car and going into the place with Rachel.

I look through the displays of designs and piercings, before deciding on some that I’d like. A skull tattoo surrounded by flowers, vines, and butterflies, and a small belly button piercing.

~Two hours later~

“Fudge nuggets! This thing hurts.” I pout, looking down at my belly button piercing. Rachel laughs lightly beside me. “Fudge nuggets?” She asks, and I frown. “Shut up.” I say, trying to hold back a smile. I pull my blue tanktop down, fixing it slightly, before turning towards Rachel.

“We should try to sneak some whiskey or something from Mom.” I say, and she smirks. “Bad Chloe… I’m proud of you.” She says, standing up off my bed and taking my hand.

~Two weeks later~

I run down the street with Rachel beside me and three bags of chips in my hand. She has candy, soda, and a pack of cigars in her hands. “Hang on, stay here.” I say, and she nods, following me as I take the lead. I shove the chips in Rachel’s hands, and run into Walmart.

I grab a huge purse, then go around and find makeup and other things to fill it with. I stick it in a basket, pay for it, and walk out. “Put everything in here.” I say, and she does. I put the chips in, then cover it with makeup, tissues, and perfume.

“You’re an evil genius, and I love you.” She says, kissing my cheek. I blush, and smile.

“C’mon, we’ll miss the movie!” I say, beginning to run again towards the movie theater. I hear her footsteps behind me, and continue to run as we near the theater.

Once we get inside, we pay for tickets to see the newest Avengers movie, and run inside. The movie starts, and we pull out the chips, candy, and soda. I begin to eat the chips, ignoring the annoyed glances from the other people in the theater.

“Chloe, we’re getting stares and it’s making me uncomfortable… That old dude is checking me out.” Rachel whispers, and I look over at where she’s pointing. The guy has a raggedy jacket, blonde hair, and a bruise on his lower lip. I make eye contact with him and he licks his lips.

My face twists into a look of disgust, and Rachel’s does the same. “We can see the movie later. Let’s go.” I say, standing quickly and running out of the theater. “Can we go to your place, it’s closer and I’m hella tired.” Rachels says, and I laugh. “Yeah, let’s go.” I say, and we begin to walk back.

“We sneak out a lot for a couple of fifteen year olds.” Rachel says thoughtfully, and I shrug. “It’s fun though, right?” I say, and she nods. “Yeah, yeah it is.” She says, and we leave it at that, walking home in a comfortable silence.

~Twenty minutes later~

We walk in the door quietly, but Mom is standing at the door with her hands on her hips.

“Chloe Elizabeth Price, where have you been?” Mom asks accusingly. I look at the ground, finding my confidence slowly. “We went to see a movie, Mom.” I say quietly. “Without an adult? Without telling me? At midnight?!” She asks, her arms in the air in frustration.

“Rachel, I’ll have to call your mother-”

“I told her we were going to a movie, Joyce. She was fine with us going alone, but Chloe said she asked you. Blame me for not making sure it was okay.” She says, and my eyes widen and shoot up to her. “Rachel, this isn’t your fault. Don’t take the blame for this, it was me.” I say, stepping in front of her defensively.

“Mom, she didn’t do anything. Please, if someone’s going to get their ass kicked, make it me. Not her.” I say, not reaizing I had just cursed in front of my mother.

“Chloe!” Rachel hisses behind me, and I begin to panic. “Rachel, go home. Now.” Mom growls, and Rachel squeezes my hand once before walking out the door. “Mom, I didn’t mean to-” She grabs me and drags me up the stairs. She throws me into my room and tells me not to come out other than to go to the bathroom. I was tempted to ask about food, but I didn’t want to push my luck.

I lay back on my bed and sigh, closing my eyes. This has been a long day, tha’s for sure. Eventualy, I fall asleep, and hope that tomorrow will be better.

~Two years later~

“C’mon, Chlo! You’ll look great.” Rachel pleads, pulling me into the hair salon. “Ugh, fine! I’ll do it. For you.” I say, giving her a small kiss on the cheek before walking into the salon and standing at the desk, waiting for the lady to come over to it.

“What can I do for ya, hun?” She asks politely, smiling. “Um, I’d like a hair cut, and I want it dyed.” I say, and she nods and smiles, leading me over to a chair. She washes my hair, then leads me to a different chair to cut it.

“How short?” She asks, and I motion to how short I want it. She nods and begins to cut off most of my hair. Once she’s done, she leads me back over to the first chair, where she asks me what color I want. I say blue, and she nods, grabbing three different blues. I point to the one I want, and she begins to dye my hair.

I see Rachel on her phone, and smile lightly. She hasn’t left me yet, even though I thought she would by now.

The salon lady, who I leaned was named Lilly, sits me up and leads me to the hair dryers. I sit under them while I check my phone, which is filled with texts from my mom.

‘Where are you?’
‘Is Rachel there?’
‘Chloe! Answer me!’
‘I will take your phone away the second you get home if you don’t respond’
‘Are you okay?’

I laugh lightly, texting her back that I’m okay and that me and Rachel went to see a movie so my phone was off. The dryer turns off and I stand, walking over to a mirror. “Holy shit..” I whisper to myself.

“Do you like it?” Lilly asks, and I nod. “It’s hella cool.” I say, earning a smirk from Rachel. I pay Lilly and we walk out of the salon. “Mom’s gonna kill me.” I say, running a hand through my hair. “I’ll get the popcorn.” Rachel jokes, putting her hand around my waist.

“I wish you had met Max. She would freak over this hair.” I say, and she shrugs. “Max left you. Max isn’t here to freak. I am. And you look hella cool.” She says, and I shove her playfully. “You’re too innocent looking to say hella.” I say, and she rolls her eyes.

“You know damn well I’m nowhere near innocent.” She says, and I nod. “Very true, Rachel. Very true.” I say, and she shoves me.

After a while of just walking down the street, she speaks up.

“Hey, I was thinking, we should try to go to a vortex club party. Y’know, just for the hell of it.” She says, and I shoot her a disgusted glance.

“Really? Isn’t that Nathan’s group? I hate that little fucker.” I say, clenching my hands into fists. “We don’t have to talk to Nathan, or Victoria. We’ll just dance and do whatever the fuck we want. Justin invited me to go to the next party, and said you could go too.” She says, looking at me hopefully.

“C’mon, Rach, you know I don’t like those snobby fuckers.” I whine, but she shakes her head. “Chlo. One party, that’s it.” She pleads, but I shake my head.

“You can go with Justin, but I’m not going.” I say as we reach my house. She sighs, a look of defeat on her face. “Fine. Good luck getting murdered by Joyce.” She says in a bitterly sweet tone.

I let out a breath and walk inside. “Hey hun. How was the movie- Oh my lord! What happened to your hair?!” She asks, as she looks up at me from the magazine she was reading. “Rachel convinced me to dye it. I think it looks good.” I say, and she sighs.

“Whatever. You and your friends are gonna keep doin’ that whether I have a say in it or not.” She says with a sigh. I laugh, going up the stairs. “You’re finally catching on!” I say, before going into my room and closing the door. I put on my music, and begin to dance around, but I get a text on my phone

RayRay: Are you sure you don’t want to go?

Chlo: Yes.

I throw my phone on the bed, turn my music up, and dance. I sing, dance, cheer, and just be a weirdo for about an hour, until David comes home.

David is my step-dad, but I like to call hi my step-ass/step-douche. Mostly because he’s both of those things. He’s so strict, and worst of all, he’s head of security ot Blackwell; Where I’ll go to school in a few months.

I turn off the music quickly, getting in my bed and on my phone, as he walks through my bedroom. “I thought I told you to keep your music down!” He yells, and I roll my eyes. “And what the hell’d you do to your hair?!” He booms, and I sigh, putting my phone down.

“I dyed it, David.” I say in a duh-tone. “Don’t use that tone with me, young lady.” He says threateningly. “You don’t scare me, David.” I say, and he clenches his fists before storming out of the room.

I lay down on my bed, grabbing my phone and putting in my headphones. I put my music on full blast in the headphones, closing my eyes and letting out a breath.

~18 months later~

I knock on Rachel’s door frantically, shaking slightly but trying not to show it. Her mother opens the door, smiling as usual. “Oh, hello, Chloe! Rachel isn’t here, she’s at some party. She called it a ‘Vortex Club’ party, I’m pretty sure.” She says, and I smile. “Thanks, Ms. Amber! I’ll see you around!” I say, running out of their driveway and towards the school.

I swing the door open, and run past the administration desk. “RACHEL!” I yell over the music, but don’t see her. I see Trevor standing by the pool with a beer, and run over to him.

“Trevor! Have you seen Rachel?” I ask, and he shakes his head. “Last time I saw her she was with Nathan.” He yells, trying to speak over the music. I nod, thanking him before running out of the party and towards the dorms.

I check the girls dorms, but they’re not there. I check the guys dorms, but they’re not there, either. I call her again, then text her, but she doesn’t answer, or even see the texts. I go back to her dorm, and sit on her bed. All of her stuff is here, so she didn’t leave voluntarily. I go over to her computer, and begin to print ‘Missing Persons’ posters, then grab tape, and go home.

~Next Morning~

I run out the door, catch the bus, then jump off and run into the school. I put up the posters everywhere in Blackwell. I put them on doors, walls, bulletin boards, lockers, and even in bathroom stalls. I got Justin to put them in the guys’ bathrooms. I hand out the posters, asking if they’d seen her, and everyone said no. Even Nathan, who Justin told me had been with her the night before.

Classes went by slowly, but I got through them, at least. Once home, I go out immediately to put the posters up around town. I put them on the doors of buildings, light posts, electrical posts, everywhere. I then hand them out and asked who’d seen her, but everyone said they hadn’t seen her. I finally gave up, once I ran out of posters, and went home.

I lay down on my bed, screaming into my pillow, before grabbing my phone, and my headphones, and blasted my music.

I hope she comes back.

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