Friday June 3, 1977
Maybe it’s stupid to write this letter. I can’t possibly mail it without an address, but sleep is a million miles away and I’m sick of rolling around in sweaty sheets trying to make my brain stop screaming. So I pulled my daisy bedspread out on the porch roof to look for cooler air and shooting stars. Suddenly, it seemed like a good idea to write down everything that’s happened since you left.
It’s been four awful days since I last saw you. I miss you so much! Where are you now? Does the sky look different there? Are you wondering what is going on back here?
Don’t worry, I haven’t told your father anything that will help him or the sheriff track you down. I just wish they didn’t know I saw you that night. It was such a stupid mistake!
Walt called my house when he got home from the fire station and found your room empty.
The Mother Monster hollered upstairs asking if you came over last night and I said, “Yeah.”
That one little word has changed everything.
Anita yelled, “Cassie, your dad’s on the phone. Pick it up!”
I yelled back, “She’s not here now.”
Next thing I knew, Walt was pounding on the back door and then he was standing in my bedroom hammering me with questions. Mother Monster stormed in and dragged me out of bed in my ratty old nightshirt. Walt kept yelling at both of us non-stop. Anita yelled back. I know I should have tried to say something to trick Walt, to get him looking in a totally wrong direction, but all I could think to do was grab the sheet off my bed and hug it around my body.
Anita managed to make Walt back off with promises of helping him find you. When he left, I was almost grateful to her … until the evil witch pinched the flabby place below my bottom and said, “This ain’t baby fat, young lady. Cover it up!”
By 4:00 in the afternoon, Sheriff McCombs himself was standing in our kitchen asking the first round of official questions. Anita kept muttering snide comments about how the sheriff wouldn’t move that quickly for most teenagers, but he jumps right in to chase down the fire chief’s daughter.
That gave me goose bumps because it reminded me of the time you went camping with Jeff even though Walt said you couldn’t go. I never told you I was standing in our kitchen watching from the window when he yanked you out of his car and dragged you into the house while you screamed and screamed. Anita may be the Mother Monster sometimes, but Walt is just plain scary mean. And he keeps getting meaner every day you’re gone.
Even though I miss you, I hope you are really far away from Walt by now.
Your friend forever,