Hey, sorry did I wake you?’ the voice was from his best friend whom he had had a crush on since he was four, Tara.
“Uh no, no I was already away. Whats going on?” he asked her.
“I though I would help look for the missing little girl and thought maybe you would want to come with?’ she waited for an answer but he didn’t say anything right away,’ you totally don’t have too though. I just feel really bad. I can’t imagine what her parents are going through.”
“I’ll go Tara!” he snapped. Tara was hesitant on saying anything else just because she didn’t want to get her head bitten off again.
“Okay’, she finally said.’ I’ll swing by and get you in an hour. They start early so it will be cooler.” Matt agreed and hung up the phone so that he could grab a bite to eat.
After he ate, he downed a glass of orange juice just as he heard a horn honk from outside. Matt’s mother peeked out the kitchen window and waved with a smile when she saw it was Tara.
“What are you guys up to today?” his mother asked.
“Um were gonna go help look for that little girl.” He explained.
“Oh the one that went missing?' his mother said with a sad tone in her voice. 'Well that’s nice to give up your Saturday morning to help others out.”
“It’s summer mom, everyday is Saturday to us. I gotta go. I should be home for dinner but if I’m not don’t save me anything; I’ll just pick up something.” Matt said as he hurried out of the house threw the back door. He hopped into Tara’s sports car and didn’t bother to buckle himself in. She hated that he never did that, but she wasn’t going to fight with him over it. She finally got a good look at his face when they stopped at the first stop sign from his house. His eyes looked tired with dark circles under them. He looked sickly. His hair was a mess but that wasn’t anything new for him. He rarely brushed his hair, normally just ran his fingers through the strands and whenever he thought it looked good enough he stopped. It wasn’t clean though. Matt had always been a very clean person but today he stunk and his hair was greasy.
“Jesus Matt you look like shit.” Tara said as she turned to face the road again. She hit the gas and started moving again.
“Thanks you look like shit too.” Matt said as well. Apparently his sarcastic attitude hadn’t left.
“Don’t be rude, I’m being serious. Did you sleep last night?” she asked him.
“A little, I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep.”
“Then why are you going with me? I’m gonna take you back home.” She said as she turned on her left blinker. Matt reached over and flicked it off and told her to go on.
“I won’t be able to sleep so I might as well do something productive to keep my mind off things.”
“This is like the second or third night you haven’t been able to sleep. What is going on?” Tara asked him as she continued to drive towards Timber Park, where the young girl was last seen. Matt didn’t say anything. He just sat silently looking out the passenger side window. Tara looked at him as she continued to drive.
When they arrived at the park she parked in the closest spot she could find. She didn’t want to make Matt walk any further then he had too. Two feet away from the playground equipment was a large group of people with flashlights, water bottles and small first aid kits, just in case…just in case someone found the little girl alive. They wouldn’t, Matt knew they wouldn’t because he knew where she was.
His concentration was broken by an older man yelling at the front of the crowd. He was a well built man with sandy colored hair and tears in his eyes.
“For everyone who doesn’t know who I am my name is Harry Kimball and this is my wife Lena. We wanted to thank you all for coming out and taking time out of your lives to help us look for our little girl Lisa. Ummm for those of you who don’t know what happened Lisa had walked here, to Timber Creek with a friend. Her friend got picked up by her mother at five p.m. and according to her Lisa said that she didn’t want a ride home. They left and that was the last time someone saw her. She didn’t come home that night. After calling all of her friends we checked the park well past dawn and that was when we found her green jacket but that was the only sign of her. For those of you who don’t know what Lisa looks like there are people handing out fliers. She has long brown hair and blue eyes. She was wearing a yellow tee shirt and jeans when we last saw her. Thank you again.”
Tara and Matt both took pieces of paper from someone. There it was, Lisa’s face staring back at him, smiling at him. He stumbled backwards and landed in the grass. Tara fell to his side as he crumbled the paper in his hand slightly.
“Shit!” he snapped. Tara looked up at the people around them who looked down at them with eyebrows raised.
“Are you okay?” she asked.
“Yeah I’m fine…I…I tripped. I’m more tired then I thought, I guess. I’m tripping over my own feet.” He tried to laugh at himself. Tara looked at her friend and sat beside him, putting her arm around him. Matt let out a deep breath as Tara placed her head on his shoulder.
“Let me take you home sweetie, please?”
“No I’m fine and I wanna help,’ he looked at her with kind yet sad eyes,’ please don’t take me home. I don’t wanna be there. I wanna be with you.” He said to her in a whisper tone. She looked up at him and attempted to smile but she couldn’t much. She had to force herself to.
The large group of people split into two separate groups; one headed north threw the fields and the other went to the west also threw fields. No one wandered into the wooded area that was closer to Timber Creek; that’s where she was. They began to walk through the large plains of tall, green grass finding nothing. None of the missing child’s belongings, no blood, no signs of a struggle of any kind.
“It didn’t happen here.” Matt said louder then he thought. Tara was the only one close enough to him to hear what he said and even she was uncertain of exactly what he said.
“What did you say?” she asked him. He shook his head and nothing else was said about it for the rest of the day. As the morning turned into afternoon the mix of guilt and lack of sleep was beginning to take its toll on Matt. The sun was covered by large storm clouds that had covered the day sky and by the time four thirty rolled around rain was starting to fall from the sky above. Everyone looked up at once and covered their faces with the fliers that were in their hand.
“Everyone were gonna end it the search for the day. Thank you again for coming out and helping. Tomorrow morning we will be back out here and just to be on the safe side please remember to bring a rain coat if possible.” A police officer yelled at everyone. Matt and Tara turned around and made their way back to her car. Once they were in they sat there for a moment, trying to catch their breath. Matt was more exhausted then he was that morning. As soon as Tara dropped him off at his house he fell onto his bed passing out finally. Nights without sleep was finally catching up to him.