Disappear | Teen Ink


May 19, 2022
By Aliviafoster, Mt Holly, North Carolina
More by this author
Aliviafoster, Mt Holly, North Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Author's note:

It's about horror and really shows how easy it is to be manipulated and stay that way for a long time.

I was 6 when it happened. When my mom disappeared.  The night before she left I heard her and my dad arguing but I didn’t think she’d leave. I was 10 when he started making me help him clean the carpet. I was never allowed to have any friends over or hang out at other peoples houses. But when I was 13 he finally let me have a sleepover. Her name was Lucy. We hung out more and more until one day she disappeared. My dad would tell me that that's what people did, they act like they love you then they leave your life he'd always sound mad when I asked about it so I stopped. It kept happening though. All my friends would disappear. The cops kept stopping by and would always ask me questions like how I knew them and when was the last time I saw them. Eventually the neighbors started spreading rumors that my dad took the girls. But I knew my dad, he would never do that because he loves me. I'm 16 now. He still made me help clean the carpet and furniture and if I didn't he’d hurt me so I always complied. My school life wasn't any better. Everyone knows of the rumors about my dad and they all avoided me and thought I was weird. I stopped putting myself out there when I said hi to a girl and she laughed at me and told me to go away because she doesnt wanna disappear too. I told my dad about it and he said to ignore her so I did. I never saw her again after that day but I did have to clean 2 days later. I shut myself off from the world and sat by myself at lunch every day. Eventually I became numb. I longed to truly feel something. So I did. But once I started I couldn't stop. We finally went on spring break and I didnt have to deal with anyone from school and I could just keep to myself. About 2 days into spring break  my dad walked in with a woman. She had pretty deep green eyes, long brown hair, tan skin, and the perfect height about 5’5.  “Hi my name is Harmony and yours?” This was the first woman I've actually seen in our house since mom. I had to make sure I made a good impression. “Oh um hi my name is Jessi” “Well it’s nice to meet you Jessi”. Dad seemed happier when she was around and to be honest so was I. I havent had to clean ever since she started coming around. I really hope she stays around as long as possible. I was doing school work in my room when I heard a light knock on my door “come in” it was Harmony. “Um hi Jess if you’re not too busy I was wondering if you would like to go out shopping with me, your dad went to work and i'm pretty bored?” Did she really want me to go? I never get invited anywhere with anyone, not even my dad. “Oh I'm not busy, I'll go, just give me 10 minutes”. I quickly get up and look through my closet for something to wear or at least something that's clean which reminds me that I need to do laundry but it was weird because it felt like some of my clothes were missing. I find my usual gray hoodie and slip it on and some baggy sweats I found on my floor. I start to look for some shoes under the mess in my room and find my dirty but still white converse and walk out the door.  We get into the car with me in the backseat to avoid as much small talk as possible because I never know what to say. I spot her staring at me in the mirror and we make eye contact for a quick second before I quickly look away again. She tries to start some small talk and I make sure to respond as dry as possible so she gets the message and eventually she did and we rode the rest of the way in silence. When we pulled into the parking lot of the huge mall and as I got out of the car I stopped just to admire how large it was but also to prepare myself for the amount of people that would be inside and the potential human interaction. “Come what are you waiting for?” I snap out of my trans and go to her side. We walk into the mall and as we step into the sliding doors the cool air of the mall hits me and I do a little cold shimmy. Although the weather outside is around 75 degrees I was still wearing a hoodie. At first we didn't enter any stores and just walked around but she then asked what store I would like to go in. “I’m not really sure. I don’t really go shopping at all.” “Oh well that’s fine, I know the perfect place for us to go to follow me.” She says this with a huge grin on her face which causes me to smile as well. My smile quickly fades when she pulls me into a Victoria Secret store and tells me to look around. She walks away and I'm stuck looking at half naked mannequins and colorful underwear. As I'm walking around I spot a girl I've seen at school and immediately duck behind a display and peek out every minute to see if she's gone. To my horror Harmony walks up behind me and says quite loud “Hey Jess do you think these would look good on me?” And puts a pair of underwear in my face causing the girls to look over and see me and Harmony causing them to start whispering and laughing. I immediately get up not answering her question and walk out to try and find a bathroom to hide from the embarrassment. Leaving Harmony behind in the store. She found me rather quickly and made me come out of the bathroom. “Why did you disappear like that, is something wrong?” she asked, seeming genuinely concerned. “Girls from my school were there and we don’t exactly get along.” “Oh I get it they’re the “popular” girls that think they run the world huh?” “Yea basically” “Well they're not gonna run you” Her words cause me to ease down a bit and smile. She grabs my hand and we walk out of the bathroom and start walking towards a phone store. As we get in I assume she's buying herself a phone but then she says my name for who the owner is. I look at her and she gives me a smile and keeps talking. As she’s talking she looks at me and asks what color I want my phone and gives me the options of light pink, light purple, light blue, red, or black. I tell her I want black because that is my favorite color. After she makes the purchase she gives me the phone fresh in the bag and tells me to pick out a phone case so it doesn’t get broken. “I like this a lot,” she says, pointing at a clear case with pastel purple butterflies and black detailing on the wings. I picked it up “Yea I like this one too” although it wasn't really my favorite. The least I could do was choose a case she liked but it was still pretty. After leaving the store she asked me if there’s anywhere else I would like to go. I tell her no but she then takes me to a place called Hot Topic and I was not ready for what I was about to see. We walk in and it's a lot darker than the main parts of the mall.The space is kind of cramped and they're playing alt music quietly over the entire store. They had a wide selection of anime tees and other different graphic tees. “Well go ahead and pick out whatever you want.” She said this and flashed a credit card in my face while smiling. I went over to where I saw the anime tees and picked up a HxH shirt but the realized it was just a long sleeve a crop top and went to put it down but before I could Harmony came over and asked why I didn’t want it I explained in as short detail as possible that I'm just not confident enough to wear tight fitted clothing especially crop tops. But without thinking twice she grabbed multiple crop tops and dresses and dragged me to the fitting room. She threw me in then threw in the clothes and told me to try everything on and show her. I sat there just staring at the clothes for about 5 minutes when Harmony poked her head in and told me to hurry up so I reluctantly grabbed one of the crop tops and put it on. It's been a while since I looked at my body or looked in a mirror at all. I always just believed I what I was told at school which was that im ugly and fat even though none of them have ever seen my body. I put on the crop top and turned to look in the mirror for the first time in a long time and was surprised to see how slim I was. The shirt was quite tight on my chest but for some reason It felt nice and I felt nice. I decided that before I went out I would try on the skinny jeans too and they felt amazing. Before I stepped out I took a deep breath and prepared myself for anybody who might look other than Harmony. I shyly poked my head out and saw Harmony sitting on the waiting bench and she looked up at me and sprang up telling me to come out so I did. I step out and she gasps “WOW omg I never knew you had all of THAT under those baggy clothes. You’re gorgeous, why hide it hun?” This caused my face to burn and I could tell I was getting red with embarrassment. She tends to speak loud so I could feel people staring after what she said but I couldn’t help but smile at her words. I went back into the fitting room and changed back into my regular clothes, not bothering to try on anything else. I grabbed the clothes I was getting and left the rest in the fitting room. We walked up to the register and the total came out to around $100. Before she swiped the card I quickly told her that I could put some things back but she swiped the card anyways and told me it was fine and I don't have a budget. She thanked the guy and handed me my bag of clothes and she carried hers. She then took me to another store close by and it was a shoe store. It had all the latest shoes and my favorite brand converse. We walk in and an employee comes to greet us “Hi welcome in, do you need help finding anything?” “Oh no we’re just looking around right now.” We walk around for a bit until I stop and look at a really cute pair of shoes. They had black detailing and white for the rest. I know it’s basic but I liked them a lot. I asked an employee to get me the shoes I wanted in women's sizes 5.5. I got Harmony's attention and I tried on each pair of shoes. I asked her which ones she liked most and I'll get those and she said that she liked all of them so I should get them all. She grabs the shoe boxes and goes up to the register. I got about 7 pairs of shoes and it came out to over $300 but again she told me not to worry about it.  We went to a couple more stores and I got some more pants and shirts and of course I still got more oversized hoodies and clothes. As we were leaving the mall I spotted the food court which made my stomach grumble and I think Harmony either heard my stomach or saw me staring at the taco bell but she then says “Hey we should go get food before we go '' and starts walking towards the food court . I gladly follow her and we go to one of my favorite fast food places taco bell.  We get in line and wait for our turn when she turns to me and tells me to go find a place for us to sit. I tell her that I'll take the bags with me so she doesn’t have to keep holding them in line. She first says it’s fine and that I don’t have to but I keep on insisting until she finally gives in. I then turned around and went to look for empty seats in this packed food court.  As I walked around with all of our clothes looking for a place to sit I accidentally bumped into a couple people and had to say sorry a bunch. I finally found an empty table but it was kinda dirty so I wiped off the crumbs with my shirt and sat down waiting. As I waited with all the bags I decided to power on my phone.  As I was doing so Harmony came back with a tray of food that smelled amazing. Without a second thought I put the phone back in the bag and started eating.  After we finished eating we walked back out to the car. I asked her to unlock the door so I could put all the bags in and she did. After we both got in the car, this time with me in the front, I looked at the time and noticed it had been more than 3 hours and it was now 7:06 and it was getting dark.  She started driving and we sat in silence like before. She eventually asked if I had started up[ my phone yet and I told her yea but I haven't set it up yet. “Well don’t.” She says this with a stern but worried look on her face and not her usual soft smile. “Why not?” I say slightly set off. But she doesn't respond and just keeps driving. All of a sudden I felt my eyes getting heavy and I felt extremely tired so I let myself fall asleep.  I wake up and it’s pitch black dark outside except for the headlights of cars driving past. Why are we still in the car?  “Hey uh where are we going?” I ask her, trying to hide my fear. “Listen, I know what your dad does and the only reason I asked you to go out is because I need you to get in the car and to trust me more.” What is she talking about? A million thoughts raced through my mind until I realized she was talking about the people who disappeared. “My dad is NOT a murderer!” I say with my voice slightly raised. She could feel my anger but stayed calm and continued. “I know it may be hard for you to believe but it’s true and I would’ve never done any of this if I wasn’t sure. I was gonna leave on my own and just call the police but I couldn’t leave you there knowing that he would probably take his anger out on you.”  Tears started rolling down my cheeks uncontrollably as all the dots inside my head started to connect. All the messes I had to clean. I feel so stupid. I can’t believe he had the power to control my thoughts without even trying. It felt like I was always blocking something out like a part of my brain was locked and there was no key and now I know why. I felt horrible as if I was the one who hurt those girls. Everyone was right. My dad is a murderer.  “ Look I know this is a lot to take in but right now we just need to keep driving. Your dad has probably already realized that we ran away because he put a tracking device in the car.” All of these things are hitting me all at once and my stomach is doing cartwheels and it feels like I might throw up.  I ask her if we can quickly pull over because I'm going to throw up. She pulls over and I quickly hop out of the car and throw up my inside while still crying uncontrollably. She hops out of the car and comes over to me on the passenger side and pulls my hair back and pats my back. We sat there for about 30 minutes before I asked where we were. “We’re in Colorado.” Hours away from where we started off. How did I not wake up?  “Did you drug me?” I asked her while looking down. Silence. I looked up at her and asked louder “Did you drug me, yes or no?” “Yes but only because I had to. You would’ve asked too many questions or stayed and I couldn’t let that happen.” I looked at her and I could feel my face heating up. I was horrified and confused. I couldn’t think straight and I blacked out. I woke up in a hospital with police outside of the door and other people. I made eye contact with one of the  people outside of the door which led to them all walking in. One of them came over to my bedside and started asking me questions. “Do you know where you are?” I shook my head no. “Do you remember anything that happened?” “ Faintly” I reply. “Can you tell me everything you remember please and everything you did with your dad?” “I nod my head yes. I go over everything I remembered from the cleaning to the beatings if I disobeyed to the moment I went to the mall. “Cleaning,what did you clean?” “I’m not sure but it was red.” “How long have you been cleaning red?” “Since I was 5 or 6 maybe, I’m not sure.” They kept asking a bunch of questions that I found useless but one of them caught my attention. “Have you ever been down to your basement?” “Basement?” I respond in confusion. “We don’t have a basement.” What is he talking about? “Um… yes ma’am you do, do you not remember?” “No, no, no I remember my house perfectly and we never had a basement.” “Well ma’am we have these photos that were taken of your basement.” He says this while taking out a folder and pulling out photos. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw and almost threw up when I looked. There were multiple photos outside of the secret basement with blood on the door and then there were photos inside the basement with the bodies of women who had been completely mutilated.  I was horrified and disgusted. “I-I didn’t even know we had a basement.” My eyes filled with tears as the realization hit me that I could never live a normal life again. “We know you didn’t know. Your stepmom told us.” “Stepmom?” “Yes? Is Harmony not your stepmom?” Harmony.  She had completely left my mind. “No uh she’s not my stepmom she was just my dad's girlfriend. Where is she?” “She’s at the police station right now to give a statement.” Then I asked the question that I honestly wasn’t sure I wanted the answer to. “Where-where’s my dad?” He replied with a stern but sympathetic look “He hasn’t been caught yet. We put out an APB. We will have to keep you here and keep a watch on you and your aunt until your father is caught.” I couldn’t think. It felt like I couldn’t breathe. This nightmare will never end.

Similar books


This book has 0 comments.