Never Never: Part Two
Page 14

 Colleen Hoover

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I like him. I can only recall two conversations we’ve had in our life, and they’ve both consisted of Landon spitting some sort of direction at me. I know I’m the older brother, but he seems to act like I treat him with respect. We had to have been close. I can tell by the way he’s looking at me that he’s suspicious of my behavior. He knows me well enough to know something is up.
I try to use this to my advantage. I stretch my leg out in front of me and lean forward. “I can’t find Charlie,” I say to him. “I’m worried about her.”
Landon laughs under his breath. “I should have known this had to do with her.” He switches legs and faces me. “And what do you mean you can’t find her? Her phone was in your car this morning. She can’t very well call you from it. She’s probably at home.”
I shake my head. “No one has heard from her since last night. She never made it home. Janette reported her missing an hour ago.”
His eyes are locked with mine, and I see them shift to concern. “What about her mom?”
I shake my head. “You know how she is. She’s no help.”
Landon nods. “True,” he says. “Damn shame what this has turned her into.”
His words make me contemplate. If she hasn’t always been this way, what made her change? Maybe the sentencing destroyed her. I feel a small shred of sympathy for the woman. More than I did this morning.
“What did the police say? I doubt they’ll consider her a missing person if all she’s done is skip school today. They have to have more evidence than that.”
The word evidence sticks with me as it falls from his mouth.
I haven’t wanted to admit this to myself, because I want to focus on finding her, but deep down I’ve been a little concerned how this looks for me. If she really is missing and she doesn’t show up soon, I have a feeling the only person the police will be interested in questioning is the last person to see her. And considering I have her wallet, her phone, and every letter and journal entry she’s ever written—that doesn’t bode well for Silas Nash.
If they question me—how will I know what to tell them? I don’t remember our last words. I don’t remember what she was wearing. I don’t even have a valid excuse as to why I have all of her belongings. Any answer I give them would be a lie on a polygraph because I don’t remember any of it.
What if something happened to her and I really am responsible? What if I’ve suffered some kind of shock, and that’s why I can’t remember anything? What if I hurt her and this is my mind’s way of convincing me I didn’t?
“Silas? Are you okay?”
My eyes flick up to Landon’s. I have to hide the evidence.
I push my palms into the ground and immediately stand. I turn and run in the direction of the locker rooms.
“Silas!” he yells after me. I keep running. I run until I reach the building, and I push open the door so hard it slaps the wall behind it. I run straight to my locker and swing it open.
I reach inside but feel nothing.
I touch the walls, the floor of the locker; I swipe my hands around every empty inch of it.
It’s gone.
I run my hands through my hair and spin around, looking all around the locker room, hoping maybe I left the backpack on the floor. I swing open Landon’s locker and pull everything out of it. It’s not in there, either. I open the next locker and do the same. I open the next. Nothing.
The backpack is nowhere.
I’m either going crazy or someone was just in here.
“Shit. Shit, shit, shit.”
When all of the contents from the entire row of lockers are on the floor, I move to the other wall of lockers and begin doing the same to them. I look inside other people’s backpacks. I empty gym bags, watching as gym clothes tumble to the floor. I find anything and everything, from cell phones to cash to condoms.
But no letters. No journals. No photographs.
I spin around to see a man filling the doorway, looking at me like he has no idea who I am or what’s gotten into me. That makes two of us. “What in the hell are you doing?”
I look around at the mess I’ve made. It looks like a tornado just ripped through the locker room.
How am I going to get out of this?
I’ve just destroyed every single locker in here. And what explanation would I give them? I’m looking for stolen evidence so the police won’t arrest me for my girlfriend’s disappearance?
“Someone…” I squeeze the back of my neck again. This must be one of my old ticks—squeezing the stress out of my neck. “Someone stole my wallet,” I mutter.
The coach looks around the locker room, the anger never once leaving his face. He points at me. “Clean this up, Nash! Now! And then get your ass to my office!” He walks away, leaving me alone.
I waste no time. I’m relieved I left all my clothes on the bench and not in my locker with the stuff that was stolen. My keys are still in my pants pocket. As soon as I’m out of my football gear and back into my clothes, I walk out the door, but I don’t go in the direction of the offices. I head straight for the parking lot.
Straight for my car.
I have to find Charlie.
Otherwise, I could be sitting completely helpless in a jail cell.
Chapter 10: Charlie
I hear the lock open again, and I sit up. The pills the nurse gave me make me feel drowsy. I don’t know how long I was asleep, but it couldn’t have been long enough to already be time for another meal. However, she comes in carrying another tray. I’m not even hungry. I wonder if I finished my spaghetti earlier. I can’t even remember eating it. I must be a lot crazier than I thought. But I did have a memory. I debate telling her, but it feels private. Something I want to keep for myself.