Somehow, I must've managed to fall back to sleep because when I opened my eyes again, the sun was streaming in between my curtains, and the clock said it was 9:27. I was so alarmed that I'd missed something important, I leapt out of my bed and ran to the door, listening for more weird sounds. The house was eerily silent without Cadence next door. I was sure my parents were up, but they were likely in the kitchen preparing for Thanksgiving dinner, and I wouldn't be able to hear them from here.
I went back and sat on the edge of my bed, trying to decide what to do. I could check all the usual social media sites to see if anyone knew how Drew was or what had happened, but I was a little hesitant to do that. What if someone knew my sister was involved? Did I really want to read that Cadence had killed someone on Facebook? I also considered calling my sister again but decided not to bother her. With a sigh, I grabbed some clean clothes and decided to head down the hallway to the bathroom to take a quick shower. My barricade was still in place, and I felt a little silly moving the chair out of the way so I could exit my room, but at least I knew no one had entered my bedroom in the middle of the night.
Unless, of course, they'd come in the window.
Chills ran down my spine as I thought over everything that had happened the night before. I turned the shower on and let it run for a minute while I took care of other things and brushed my teeth. Had there really been a strange man in my sister's room? Did he really jump out the window and run away in a blur? What was up with the noise on the roof? And where in the world did Cadence meet someone who drove a car like that?
I got in and let the warm water wash over me, thankful that something normal still existed in my life. As I washed my hair, my thoughts slipped to poor Drew. I had no idea what had happened to her, but I had a burning in the pit of my stomach that told me everything was not okay. My parents were not exactly forthcoming with the information earlier that morning, so I hoped they'd be a little more inclined to share now that the sun was up. They might not be willing to tell me what had happened to the blonde cheerleader with the infectious smile, but I hoped they would at least tell me if she was going to be okay.
Turning the water off, I ran a towel over myself and did my best to get as much water out of my hair as I could. People have always said that Cadence and I have the same hair, but I don't think that's true. Hers is a lot thicker than mine, and it seems like she can just run a brush through it, and it's perfect whereas I have to spend forty-five minutes drying, brushing, and styling mine. But not that day. I threw on my jeans and a sweatshirt and grabbed a ponytail holder. I wasn't planning on leaving the house and couldn't imagine anyone showing up on Thanksgiving morning. So easy would win the day.
I was headed down the stairs, trying to keep my steps light in case I could catch my parents discussing something they wouldn't otherwise share with me. Like I said, I don't make a habit of listening in on other people's conversations, but that might have been the only way I could figure out what was happening with Cadence. I also wondered if my sister would be back sometime that day. I couldn't imagine her missing Thanksgiving dinner, but the parental units had made it seem like she would be gone for a few days.
Faint noises from the kitchen caught my attention, and I turned to head that direction when a knock at the door stopped me in my tracks. So much for no visitors today. I tentatively approached the entryway, hoping this wasn't the police or the FBI showing up to arrest my sister for doing something devious to Drew.
Our front door has one of those little windows next to it where you can peer out before you unlock the door. Of course, there's no way you can do that without the person seeing you, but I did it anyway. When you're expecting to see someone who looks like a federal agent standing on your doorstep, and you look out the curtain to see someone who looks like a federal agent standing on your doorstep, it is a little alarming. I didn't get much of a look at him before I flung the curtain back into place, but this was not a neighbor asking for a cup of sugar to finish a pie.
With a deep breath, I unlocked the door, wondering how fast my dad could run up here and save me if I screamed. But then, I'm fifteen years old; I should be able to answer the door without freaking out. Cautiously, I opened the door just wide enough to stick my head out. "Yes?" I asked, trying not to bite my bottom lip.
I could see him much better now than when I'd peeked out from behind the curtain. He was dressed mostly in black, except for the white shirt he had on under his black leather jacket, which is why I thought he looked like a cop. I wouldn't call him tall, exactly, but he had several inches on me and looked like he could probably hold his own in a fist fight, though he definitely wasn't a big guy. As he pulled his dark sunglasses off and made eye contact with me, my knees betrayed me, and for a second, I actually thought I might swoon like one of those ladies in an old-timey movie. This guy was hotand not in the same way a high school boy who happens to have matured a little bit more than his peers is hot, either. Like, this guy could've been a movie star. His blue eyes were piercing, much brighter than any photo filter I've ever seen, and he had the kind of jawline that whispered he meant business, despite the easy smile he wore.