To Look Within My Soul

Chapter 2 - Where Is She?

Alice sat on the couch frowning as she reread the letter written by her daughter Sherri. She tearfully stood up hoping Jason would come home soon after she called him. She couldn't believe that she would run away from home. She gingerly rubbed her belly feeling the baby kick inside. Alice heard a car pull into the drive way knowing it was Jason. He came bounding into the house looking worried.
"Where do you think she could have gone?" Jason asked as Alice started to cry. He grabbed her and hugged her gently into his arms.
"I don't know where. Why? Why couldn't she just come to us if she had a problem?" Alice moaned burying her face into his chest.
"I think I know why she ran away." Jason mumbled rubbing Alice's back trying to comfort her. She looked up at him as he led her over to the couch sitting her down gently and squatted down in front of her grabbing her hands lovingly.
"Why Jason?" Alice asked swallowing hard.
"When I was at the hospital today one of her friends told me that Sherri was being harassed by a boy in school." Jason began.
"What? Who?"
"Some kid is obsessed with her and kept threatening her. She gave me his name but told me it would be hard to prove." Jason explained bowing his head.
"Why didn't she tell us about this situation? Why did she keep it a secret from us?" Alice said fearfully shifting wanting to desperately hold her daughter to tell her that everything would be alright.
"I think she was trying to protect us honey. You know....maybe she went to Tulsa. I know her and Taylor were emailing each other and she still has a crush on him." Jason said when the phone rang making them both jump. He rushed to the phone hoping it was Sherri.
"Hello?! Sherri?" Jason excitedly shouted into the phone.
"Jason? This is Walker."
"Jason? Taylor needs you. He's in the hospital. He hurt his left hip really bad in a accident yesterday while riding dirtbikes with his brothers." Walker explained nervously into the phone.
"What? Oh no!" Jason frowned as Alice stood up feeling concerned watching him start to shake.
"What happened Jason?" Alice asked walking up next to him touching his arm.
"It's Taylor honey. He was hurt in a accident yesterday. He's in the hospital." Jason answered with tears filling his eyes. He couldn't believe that this was happening upon everything else.
"Walker we will come as soon as possible. Don't worry. Tell Taylor I'm coming."
"Is something wrong Jason?" Walker asked sensing that Jason was hiding something else.
"No. Everything is fine." Jason answered closing his eyes taking in a deep breath.
"Then why did you ask if it was Sherri when you answered the phone? Jason?" Walker asked hearing him hesitate clearing his throat.
"Well...umm... she ran away from home Walker. I will explain things when Alice and I get there okay?" Jason said trying to take control of his emotions.
"Okay. I hope you can find her. I...I am sorry about all this. It's just that Taylor wants you so badly." Walker stated sadly casting his eyes to the floor.
"We think she may be heading for Tulsa. She stated in her letter that she is going to a place where she was always the happiest and I know she was always happy being with your sons when they invited her to parties and stuff." Jason explained looking down into Alice's sad eyes.
"Well we will keep a look out for her if she shows up at our house." Walker said feeling worried.
"Thanks. We really appreciate that." Jason murmured with his voice cracking with emotion.
"Bye Jason."
"Bye." Jason said hanging up the phone.
"Jason? But if we leave and Sherri decides to come back here what are we going to do?" Alice asked with concern.
"We will get your sister to stay here just in case." Jason stated gently cradling her face in his hands.
She tearfully looked up at him and nodded.
"I really think though that is where we will find her. Once we do... when we come back here, we'll deal with this creep who led her to this desperate act." Jason exclaimed angrily.
"I hope Taylor is okay. That poor kid." Alice said with concern.
"I know Walker is very concerned. I don't know how bad his hip is. Well let's get packed and ready to go. I don't want to waste any time." Jason declared as Alice nodded rubbing the side of her face nervously. All she knew is somehow they would find her Sherri. She followed Jason up the stairs slowly.

Sherri waited anxiously for the bus that would take her to Tulsa, where she felt that she would be safe. She looked over her shoulder with fear thinking maybe David followed her here. She licked her lips swallowing hard as she clutched tightly onto her backpack filled with what she felt she needed for the trip. She jumped hearing the man announce the bus that was heading for Tulsa. She quickly got up and ran for the bus holding her ticket tightly in her hand. The bus driver smiled at her when she went up the stairs. She handed him her ticket and walked to the back and slid into a seat taking a sigh of relief finally thinking that she would be safe.
"Oh Taylor I can't wait to see you. I need you so much right now." Sherri thought with tears filling her eyes. She rested her head onto the seat and closed her eyes. Her friendship with the Hanson brothers meant the world to her. The bus finally pulled out onto the highway heading in the direction away from all her fears.
Sherri felt guilty for not telling her parents about this boy David, but he told her one time that if she said anything to them he would do something bad that she would never forget. She shivered slightly at the memory. He wanted her to be his girlfriend but she constantly fought off his advances toward her sticking with her group of friends at all times. Just recently he was getting very aggressive toward her. She remembered yesterday how he trapped her alone dragging her into a storage closet in school when she was going to the bathroom.

"You haven't answered my question Sherri." David hissed between his teeth looking into her fearful eyes as he pinned her shoulders to the wall tightly.
"Let me go David or I'll..I'll..." Sherri began when he slapped his hand over her mouth and kissed her forehead as she cringed.
"I know you love me. You're just playing hard to get. I think I have waited long enough and I want to hear you say that you love me Sherri. You know I care about you very much." David cooed watching her eyes open wide with fear. It turned him on knowing she feared and loved him at the same time. He slowly took his hand away from her mouth. She looked up at him trying to hold back the tears that threatened to overflow.
"How can I say that when you are treating me like this?" Sherri boldly stated with her voice cracking a bit.
"Just say it!" David whispered angrily, releasing his hold on her, while she rubbed her arms and started to shake.
"I..I can't. Not here... like this." Sherri explained swallowing hard looking toward the door wishing someone would come and open it.
"Then when? I want to hear you say that you want me. I love you Sherri! You are my world." David smiled as Sherri slid along the wall fearfully. He followed her every move.
She darted her eyes from side to side desperately trying to think of something to say to get away from him.
"I'll tell you tomorrow David. I promise. Just meet me by the picnic tables tomorrow morning before school starts. Okay? I want to tell you my feelings for you." Sherri lied smiling weakly hoping he would believe her. She sucked in a sharp breath as he hugged her tightly in his arms rocking his head back.
"Yes my LOVE! We will be together forever." David moaned backing up pulling a strand of hair gently away from her face as he backed out of the closet leaving her alone. She tearfully looked at the door with her heart pounding out of her chest. She knew he was insane. All she could think of was that she had to somehow get away from him. She couldn't take this anymore.

Sherri gazed out of the window watching the scenery zip by, as she felt a peace overcome her knowing she was now miles away from him. A smile covered her face as she yawned feeling exhusted.
"I'll call up Mom and Dad tomorrow to let them know I am alright." Sherri thought to herself closing her eyes as she drifted off to sleep.

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