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   Chapter 5 No.5

RED: Welcome To Fayetteville By Wesley Bryant Characters: 4568

Updated: 2017-12-31 17:04


That night, Kathrine went home to her mom. The anxiety had finally started to let go of her. Her hands weren't shaking as much. Her voice wasn't trembling as much. She ran into her arms. She needed a hug to actually feel safe for the first time in hours. They cried together. They worried together. But at least they were with each other. Kathrine was off to a rough start here in Fayetteville, and she wanted to go back to Florida... but there were bigger problems there.

By morning, everyone in Fayetteville would know some version of what happened that night. Genni's parents were terrified and posting on Facebook, hoping that someone would know something. And when the police told them what they discovered, they didn't think to look at their phones which were blowing up with notifications. People were trying to be there for them, but it wasn't enough.

The "story" was everywhere... including the morning news. Genni's face was all over social media and television screens right under the word "MISSING" in big, dark letters. But this "story" wasn't the story. None of the details were out. Nobody knew about the blood. Nobody knew about the terror she felt.

Nobody saw Kathrine's trauma of knowing something happened but not

Knowing what happened. It's like watching a car crash about to happen, but looking away before the cars hit, but you didn't hear the sounds of broken glass and crushing metal. You know it must have happened, right? That horrible thing happened... but you didn't see it. No proof. Just a feeling.

"Am I a crazy person?" Kathrine said looking into her bathroom mirror. "Why am I so mad? Why did I run from her?... Why did I run?"

Kathrine knew she was alive because she ran. She didn't stick around and wait to die the way people do in scary movies, but she wished she had stayed. She wanted to know the truth about what happened to Genni. Was she alive somewhere out there? Did she run, too? Kathrine just knew it wasn't good. And she wasn't ready for the questioning... she was the last person to see her. She also wasn't ready for the questions and looks she would get every day in town. Everyone is going to want to be her friend... not for her, but for what she experienced.

---

Natalie and Derrick were eating breakfast on

the square. They were used to the smell of grease and the sizzling and popping of the food on the grill because they had breakfast there almost every morning.

"I can't believe Genni is missing, " Natalie said.

"I'm sure they'll find her, " Derrick said as he clinked his fork onto his plate. Natalie looked at him as he stared down at his food. She wasn't smiling... "I can't make it to your family dinner, " he told her, finally looking up.

"Why?" she asked, cold faced. "I'm gonna be busy I think."

"Okay, " she said. She wanted to know more, but she wasn't going to dig for information. He was her boyfriend, and she wanted him to put in an effort.

But he wasn't going to open up right now, and she wasn't going to cave in. "Well, I need to head out of here, " she said as she stood up from the wooden table.

---

Zach and Evelyn sat in their living room after cleaning the entire house. They were about to throw a Christmas party for the friend group tonight, and they wanted the first gathering at the new house to be a perfect one.

"Who all is coming?" Evelyn asked.

Zach stood up from the fluffy couch and turned the fake fireplace on. "Jasper, Natalie, Derrick."

"What about Kathrine? She has really gone through a lot and could use a good group of friends."

"Yeah, I'm good with that, " Zach told her.

---

"This will be a good night, baby, " Kathrine's mom told her. She took one hand off the steering wheel and reached over to grab Kathrine's hand. She was secretly worried about tonight, but she knew her daughter needed it.

"I know. Thank you for letting me go." She turned away from the window. "I'm going to be safe, Mom. I know how to handle myself, so I don't want you to worry."

Her mom nodded, "I'm going to worry. But, I love you." "I love you, too."

---

Kathrine walked up the brick steps to knock on the front door. Evelyn jumped from the couch, smiling. She opened the door, letting the light shape to Kathrine's face. The smell of the mint candles and the sound of laughter seeped from the inside.

"Come in!" Evelyn chirped.

Kathrine walked onto the carpet and looked up. The first person she made eye contact with was Derrick. He was holding Natalie's hand, but all of his attention was on Kathrine.

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