Isabella Anders 2

By: Jessica Sorensen

(Sunnyvale NA, #2)

Chapter 1

I don’t know how long I stay locked in the closet, banging on the door, but enough time drifts by that I begin to wonder if I’ll ever get out. I feel frustrated this is happening and what’s even more upsetting is that I dropped my phone on the other side of the door when I was getting shoved in the closet. Eventually, I sit down on the floor and hug my knees to my chest, keeping my eyes glued to the doorknob. But I’m hyperaware of the photo taped to the wall above my head. A mugshot photo of my mom.

Tears sting in my eyes. No. It can’t be true. There has to be a mistake. Or maybe this is a trick. As my thoughts arrive at that revelation, I wonder if perhaps that’s exactly what’s going on. That maybe Hannah is the one doing this. Or someone who doesn’t like me. Could that be possible? Could someone be messing with me? Or am I just living in denial?

I don’t know what to believe, but I have plenty of time to think as I sit there on the floor. Hours tick by and I still don’t hear a single person inside the house. The later it gets, the heavier my eyelids grow, until somehow I fall asleep….

When I open my eyes again, the closet isn’t as dark, because moonlight is flowing in from the open door.

Wait? The door is open?

Pushing to my feet, I stumble out of the closet. Keeping my guard up, I inch over to the light switch and flip it on. Then I reel around and scan my room. Everything looks the same as before I got shoved into the closet, the walls still bare. Carefully, I return to the closet, lingering in the doorway instead of stepping all the way in. My eyes sweep the far back wall where the photo was taped, but nothing is there.

What the hell? Did the person sneak in while I was sleeping and steal the photo? But why?

Scratching my head, I turn back around and look around my room. Nothing seems different. My suitcases are even in the same place. The house seems quiet and dark as if no one is home. If I didn’t know any better, I’d wonder if I fell asleep and imagined the whole thing. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

Still, I pick up my phone and leave my room to check the house. All the lights are off and I have a text message from my dad.

Swiping my finger over the screen, I check the message.

Dad: We won’t make it home tonight. Decided to take the family on a sporadic trip. We won’t be home for a couple of days. Make sure to lock up the house if you leave.

A lump wells in my throat at his reference to family, as if I’m separate from them. Which I guess I am. But the question is why? What happened between my father and my real mother? Better yet, what happened to my real mom? Is there any truth to that photo? And the biggest question of all: who was the masked person?

Chapter 2

The next few days pass by slowly. Not wanting to worry my grandma, I decide to call Indigo and tell her about getting shoved in the closet and also about the photo.

“I can’t believe that happened,” she huffs in frustration. “It had to be Hannah or one of her friends or something.”

“I wondered that too… She’s done crazy shit like this before,” I say, lying down on my bed. “But I’m not completely convinced… I mean, the person who pushed me in there—they were strong. And what about the photo? How did she get a hold of that?”

“She could’ve photoshopped it easily. And she could’ve got one of her guy friends to shove you into the closet,” she tells me. “Maybe even that guy next door that you’re obsessed with.”

“Kyler would never do something like this to me.”

“If you say so.”

I crinkle my nose. “Why don’t you like him? You haven’t even met him.”

“I know, but I’ve heard you talk about him enough that I can pick up on his vibe.”

“Sometimes you’re so weird. You know that?”

“Trust me, you have no idea.” She gives an elongated pause, leaving me confused. “I think if something else happens, you should call the police. I mean, between this and those texts… Enough is enough.”

I rest my arm on my stomach. “You think it’s that serious?”

“Not so much serious, but if it is Hannah, it might scare her off,” she says. “And if it is someone else… Well, better safe then sorry, right?”