The Flickering of a Light

As soon as I saw the light flickering, I knew what it meant.  I knew I needed to go save Amanda, but I also needed to make sure I protected myself.  I had been preparing for this very moment so I had a bag ready to go.  I hated calling it a ‘go-bag’ like they did in the movies and on television because that is what I reserved for actual emergencies.  Our family home had caught on fire when I was eight and I still sometimes have nightmares about it.  Luckily, our house had only been damaged and not completely destroyed so we were able to rebuild the damaged portion and could move back in with no real problems.  Or at least that’s how I remember it.  I would imagine my parents had an entirely different story about the damages to the house. 

Tonight, however, was not a night where I needed to be ready to run for my life.  Amanda was flashing her cellphone’s flashlight in Dylan’s window across the street and this usually meant she was desperate to get away from his Civil War stories and re-enactments.  Being the history buff he was, he was constantly trying to impress my sister with his knowledge, but hadn’t caught on she wasn’t hanging out with him to learn as much as she could about Abraham Lincoln.  I hadn’t figured out why she was spending so much time with him either, but I suspected it had something to do with her Algebra homework.  I tried to let her suffer as long as I could, but when the flashing light became annoyingly consistent, I finally called Amanda with an “emergency”.  She usually answered by the second ring, but when she didn’t answer at all, I wasn’t entirely worried.  I only started to worry when twenty minutes later, she still hadn’t answered and the light disappeared from the window. 

Should I rush over and ring on the doorbell?  I knew she would be mad if Dylan learned about our con, but what if something really was wrong?  Ten more minutes passed and this time I did run over to ring the doorbell and pound on the door.  When Dylan finally answered he looked like he had just gotten out of the shower, when I knew I had just seen his shadow in his bedroom window.   

“Jessica!  What are you doing here?  I was just about to call your sister…”   

I stopped listening and started screaming when I noticed the small trace of blood on the back of his wrist.  The blood he must have missed when he took a shower.  Sometime later, I woke up on the couch in my living room with both parents hovering over me, not remembering where I had been and how I had gotten there. 

“Do you know where you are?  Do you remember what happened?”  My mom asked putting her hand on my shoulder as if she was trying to keep me on the couch. I looked between my mother and father and tried to decide what to tell them. After confronting Dylan at his front door, I must have passed out. Maybe hit my head since my head ached as I swiveled from side to side to look at my parents. But did I pass out or was I attacked? Dylan had done something to my sister, I just didn’t know what. Before I could say a thing, Dylan was standing behind my parents, staring at me and shaking his head. I knew I would end up just like my sister if I ratted him out. Did I dare or did I want to live? 


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