“Zoey! Callie’s here!” My twin brother Jax shouted. I paused the TV and walked to the front door to greet my friend.
“Hey! Come in!” I said to Callie. Callie Martins, my best friend, is the kind of girl that all the guys have a crush on. She has long golden hair, big green eyes and she is the nicest person you could ever meet. Callie and I met in kindergarten and we have been inseparable ever since. She dumped her stuff in my room and turned to me.
“I can’t believe your parents left you and Jax alone by yourselves for the weekend!”
“I know! I was shocked too! Especially because of all the trouble Jax has been getting into at school.” I heard some stomping and soon my brothers scruffy brown-haired head was poking through the door.
“Excuse me! I only skipped school twice!” He informed us.
“Actually, I think we skipped school three times,” Axel said. Axel Williams has messy blonde hair and a muscular build. I had to hide my face, I was sure it was as red as a tomato. I may have a slight crush on Axel. Well, I think it’s slight. Axel is my brother’s best friend. They get into a fair bit of trouble, much to their parent’s disappointment.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever!” I replied. The boys left, and Callie and I flopped onto the bean bags on the floor and started our weekly gossip session.
“Someone’s got a crush!” Callie started singing. I went redder.
“Shut up Callie! He will hear!” I quickly replied. She smirked.
“I heard that Jonny and Anna started dating last Tuesday, but now Emily is angry at Jonny and she started screaming at Anna in the hallway before class,” Callie started.
“Ooh! I heard that Jennifer Maxwell cheated on the maths exam!” I said.
“What Jennifer Maxwell! Jennifer ‘Dux of the year and back to back winner of the National Mathematics Competition’ Maxwell!”
“Yeah! I was shocked too! I’m hungry do you want to order a pizza?”
“Of course!” I grabbed my phone and called the pizza shop. I hung up and walked back into my room and found Callie pale faced and looking down at her phone.
“Callie! Are you ok?” I asked her as I sat down in front of her.
“I…I got a p…phone call from a blocked number,” she said nervously. “It said, ‘I’m watching you. Come outside and say hi.’ What does it mean?”
“Look Callie, I’m sure it is just someone from school trying to be funny,” I said calmly to her.
“I guess, the voice sounded strangely familiar though,” she replied.
“It was probably my brother, you have heard him talk before.”
“No, no, the voice sounded older.”
“They could’ve faked it,” I told her. “Jax! Axel! Come here!” I heard loud thumps coming up the stairs, I was surprised they could hear me since their music was so loud.
“No! I will not turn the music down!” Jax said. I glared at him. I wasn’t planning on asking him that, but he answered for me.
“Did you prank her?” I accused them.
“Woah, are you ok?” Axel asked Callie. She was still a little pale in the face.
“Did you do it? Call her! It’s not funny Jax!” I yelled at them. The boys looked shocked.
“Zoey! It’s ringing again!” Callie mumbled. I took her phone and answered, putting it on speaker.
“Seriously. Come outside and talk. I won’t hurt you,” the voice said and then the call ended.
“What does this mean?” I asked.
“Well that proves it wasn’t us. Call the number back,” Axel smirked, I blushed, I could’ve punched him, but his idea was good. I pressed on the contact and called to number. We waited and finally someone picked up. It sounded like the voice had been edited, but I could still tell that it was an older person’s voice. It said things along the lines of Callie come out and see me…Callie I want to talk to you...Come alone. Callie’s eyes flickered to the hallway and a frown appeared on her face.
“Who was that?” she asked. I looked at her confused. “There was someone near the stairs and then they just went down them,”
“Callie, are you sure?” I asked. She nodded. I was getting a bit scared now. There was someone in my house.
“Axel and I are going to go and outside and see who is there. It’s probably one of your many admirers,” Jax smirked and told us. I nodded.
‘I will have a look around inside. It was probably your mind playing tricks on you,” I said as I left. Callie was still in my room, alone. I looked in all the rooms upstairs and then made my way downstairs and checked the kitchen and loungeroom. I heard a loud thud and I swear I heard someone say ‘shut up’. I looked upstairs, Callie probably dropped something. The boys came back in.
“It’s probably a prank. Callie always has people wanting to be her friend,” Axel said. I agreed, and a wash of relief came over me. It’s a prank. They helped me check the rest of the rooms downstairs and then we went into the garage and checked for anyone hiding. That’s when we heard a door slam.
“Did you shut the front door?” I asked them.
“I thought we did, obviously not. It was probably the wind,” Jax said.
“Ok, let’s just go back to Callie,” I said to them. We walked up the stairs and into my room. “Callie it is just a prank, there’s no one ther…” I stopped talking, Callie wasn’t in my room. I went and checked the bathroom, she wasn’t there. The boys and I checked the whole house, she wasn’t anywhere. We went back to my room to look for something she could’ve left. Maybe she went home, that would explain the door. But if she left, she would’ve told us. Right? My eyes travelled around the room, I saw pink and my eyes flicked back, it was my mirror. Written on it in Callie’s signature pink lipstick was the four-letter word, ‘help’. I felt sick, my breath hitched, and I stared at the mirror.
“OMG! Where is she!” I yelled. What the hell is happening?
“It’s OK, we will find her,” My brother said trying to calm me down. Would we? I didn’t think so. Why would she leave and write that on the mirror? Something was up, Callie wouldn’t do this on purpose.
“Let’s call her phone,” Axel suggested. My hands shook as I called her number. We waited. I prayed that I would hear that all familiar ring tone in another room, with Callie there too. We didn’t hear it, Callie wasn’t here. Someone answered the call. Callie.
“HELP! IT’S MY…” She didn’t finish the sentence.
“Callie, where are you?” I asked. There was no reply. “Callie!”
“Give me that phone!” The voice I heard before yelled. Callie wasn’t alone, but she was in trouble. I heard Callie’s ear-piercing scream before the phone call ended. I was frozen to the spot. I felt tears well up in my eyes.
“Someone has her! They have taken her!” I said to the boys. “We have to call someone!”
“Let’s just go look for her,” Jax said. “She is probably pranking you,” he reasoned.
“She would never do that,” I argued back. Callie was the nicest person ever, she would never do that to anyone.
“How would you know!” Jax yelled. I suddenly got angry.
“How would you? You aren’t her friend!”
“You aren’t always right Zoey!”
“Says you! You aren’t that smart!”
“Well, if you would just shut up for once in your life…”
“Stop arguing! Let’s go find her!” Axel yelled at us. He was right. I sighed and stood up and followed the boys out of my room, not talking to Jax. We walked out the front door and into the forest next to our house. If someone took her, they wouldn’t take her to town where there are lots of people. We walked for what felt like forever. It was getting dark and a cold breeze blew against my bare arms. We saw no sign of anybody even coming in the forest. We heard nothing but our own breathing and the occasional twig snapping underfoot. I felt like crying. She wasn’t anywhere. I wanted to keep looking even if it took hours or days. One thing kept replaying in my mind, what Callie said, ‘HELP! IT’S MY...’ Who is it? She has no siblings and her Dad left her when she was 4. I doubt it would be her Mum.
“Zoey, c’mon, let’s go. She isn’t here. Let’s go home and call her Mum.” Jax said to me. I glared at him and kept walking, but Axel grabbed my wrist and started pulling me out of the forest. I fought against him, but I soon gave up. We got home and Jax picked up the phone and called Callie’s mother.
“Hello Mrs Martins, this is Jax Miller.” He waited before speaking again. “Um….Zoey and I were wondering if Callie is at home with you by any chance?” he paused before saying, “You see, she was here, but she got a call from a blocked number, saying things like come outside and see me and then she thought she saw someone inside, so my friend and I went outside to see if there was anyone there. Zoey looked around inside and well, Callie stayed upstairs by herself.” He listened to what Mrs Martins had to say. “We went back up to Callie to tell her that no one was there, but she was gone.”
Callie wrote on the mirror, it said help.” I heard Mrs Martins let out a cry. “We tried calling her too, but someone took her phone and then we heard her scream.” I took the phone from my brother.
“Hey Mrs Martins, it’s Zoey,” I said, “We went into the forest to look for Callie. We didn’t find her.”
“Zoey stay there! I am coming over with the police!” Mrs Martins said to me, she sounded scared.
“Yes, we will. Goodbye.” I hung up. “She said to stay here, she is coming over with the police.”
“Ok, let’s just sit down and wait,” Jax told me. We waited in silence for what felt like hours, really it was only ten minutes, but whatever, I still hated it. Finally, the doorbell rang, I got up and answered it. Finally, Mrs Martins had come. I opened the door and standing in front of me was pimply pizza delivery man, with the Hawaiian pizza Callie and I ordered. I sighed and fished $15 out of my pocket and took the pizza without saying a word to the guy. I quickly shut the door and walked back into the lounge room.
“Zoey, where is Mrs Martins?” Jax asked. His eyes then lowered to the pizza in my hands. “Oh,” was all he said and took the pizza and started eating it with Axel.
Finally, the doorbell rang a second time, Jax went and answered and I followed. In front of us stood two police officers and Mrs Martins, in her navy dress and heels, her blonde hair was pinned up perfectly and she had a Louis Vuitton bag hung over her arm. Parked on the driveway was Mrs Martins white Range Rover and a police car.
“Hi Mrs Martins,” I said quietly as Axel joined us at the door.
“Zoey, Jax, Axel, how are you?” she replied. I remained silent. I didn’t know how to answer that. I’m definitely not good.
“Come in,” Jax said and I stepped out of the door way. Mrs Martins and the police men followed us to the lounge room. We all sat.
“Now tell us what happened please. In detail,” said one of the police officers. He had a thick grey moustache and a bald head. The other, who was much younger decided to look around the house with Axel to find any evidence to go with the mirror. Jax and I explained everything that happened from the phone calls, to the mirror to the door slam and the scream.
“We have to wait 24 hours to release a missing persons statement. We will find her, don’t worry. Thank you for your time,” he said as they led themselves out.
“I’m sure she will be fine and that we will find her,” Mrs Martins told me as I walked her to the door. She didn’t sound very sure.
“Goodbye Mrs Martins,” I said as I closed the door. I went straight to bed after that. I wanted to wake up and be dreaming. I would wake up and Callie would be sleeping on the floor beside my bed like she was supposed to, we were having a sleepover. I knew I wasn’t actually dreaming but I wished I was.
I didn’t leave my room for three days after Callie disappeared. My brother had called my parents as soon as Mrs Martins left, and they had come back early from their trip. They tried to get me to talk, I didn’t reply. They tried to get me to get out of bed, I wouldn’t. Soon they just gave up. All I did was cry and eat the food that Mum brought up to me. My phone was full of unanswered texts and missed calls from my family, people from school and I had like 100 texts from Axel. I would call Callie’s phone, just to hear her cheery voicemail, to hear her voice. I had missed three days of school and I wasn’t planning to go back anytime soon. Not without Callie.
“Zoey! Come down here please! It’s important!” My Mum yelled up to me. “Zoey! This time you have to come, I’m being serious!” I ignored her and tried to fall asleep. I had been ignoring everyone for three days, and I didn’t want to start today. Someone opened my bedroom door and entered my room.
“Zoey, you have to come down stairs, this is important,” Jax said, his voice sounded shaky. I rolled over to face him. His eyes looked slightly puffy and his cheeks looked wet.
I sighed and got up out of bed, I realised it must be important if Jax is crying. I didn’t understand, I had never seen my brother cry, even when he broke his leg at his football game and when our dog died. When I reached the bottom there was a police man in the lounge room, the same one who I talked to three days ago, with my parents and Axel. The TV was on the news channel. I was confused at first and then I saw the report on the news.
“15-year-old missing girl Callie Martins’ body has been found under the bridge at the Tolley River. She was discovered this morning at 5 am. The body was bloody with multiple wounds and broken bones, hidden under rubbish and leaves. The murder weapon has also been discovered and Police say that she was stabbed multiple times with the knife and also sustained bad injuries to her left ankle along with a fractured skull. Police are also certain that they have discovered the killer after finding finger prints on the weapon, Richard Martins, father of the victim. A source tells us that he hasn’t been around his family in 11 years after he left because of an argument with Callie’s mother, Claire...” The news reporter kept talking but I blocked it out. I could hear my parents, Jax and Axel calling my name, it sounded foggy and miles away. My mouth went dry, I felt the tears spill from my eyes. I collapsed onto the floor and started sobbing. I felt Axel’s arm wrap around me as I cried into his shoulder. Callie, my best friend was gone.
Four days ago, my best friend went missing. She was taken. Today she was found dead, murdered by her own father. A man she trusted. The past four days have been awful. For those four days, I didn’t know where she was. Callie never deserved any of this. And now, she is dead.