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Through Thick and Thin
Swoosh. Honk. Honk. Tap. Tap. The noisy sounds of the streets of New York City filled the air. It smelled like pretzels, hot dogs, and gasoline. A group of girls walking four abreast with their moms right on their heels painted a quaint picture on the dirty street. Each girl was her own individual, but when they were together, it was as if the four of them created a single being. The first girl, named Harley, had boyish qualities and features. The next was a short, plump female named Lola. The young woman standing next to her was tall, slender, and very elegant. Her name was almost as elegant as her look. They called her Eloise. The last of the four young women was Leah. Leah was average. She was not very pretty, or smart. She did not really excel at anything. However, Leah was okay with that. Because, deep down she knew her day would come. She also knew that she had the best group of friends any girl could ever ask for.
'What store should we hit next?' Lola asked anxiously. Ready to splurge her life savings made up of 18 years of birthday gifts, Christmas presents, savings bonds, and a part time job at Wal-Mart.
'You're ready for another store?' Eloise whined, 'I want to go back to the hotel and take a nap!'
'Oh come on Elle. Where's your sense of adventure?' Leah asked.
'Probably locked up somewhere along with her V-card,' Harley teased. Eloise's cheeks went from pale to a rosy pink.
'Shut up Harley. You are just jealous of me because you threw yours away last summer,' Eloise retorted in a harsh tone. They all laughed and decided to go back to their suite at the Plaza Hotel.
Inside the suite, all was quiet. Most of the girls and their moms were sleeping except for Leah and Harley. They were the only two up and bored out of their minds. Harley was practically jumping off the sofa with anxiousness while Leah quietly sat at a desk and stared out a window that overlooked the city street. The sun was beginning to set as Harley got fed up with doing absolutely nothing.
'Leah, grab your coat,' she barked softly, careful not to wake the others. Leah sat in her chair with a puzzled expression on her face. It was apparent she didn't want to go anywhere without her mom or someone else at least knowing they were gone.
'Oh come on Leah'' Harley moaned, 'We'll be safe, I promise.' Reluctantly Leah grabbed her sweatshirt and emergency cell phone. She had a very bad feeling about this adventure. Within minutes, the two girls were on the streets of New York. Blindly following Harley, Leah was keeping quiet and unnoticeable. The two girls were weaving in and out of the crowded sidewalk trying to get to their unknown destination.
The sky grew darker with each step they took. The streets became less and less familiar to the two girls. The sidewalks were less crowded and seemed darker.
'Where are we?' Leah whispered to Harley.
'I'm not sure,' she answered back nervously.
'Let's go then,' Leah, replied anxiously.
'I'I don't know where to go'' Harley whispered sadly. Leah froze. She stopped walking and couldn't talk anymore.
'W'what do you mean?' Leah practically screamed.
'I mean we're lost.'
'No!' Leah started out quietly, but then grew louder, 'No! We can't be!' Harley stood there staring back apologetically at Leah. Leah understood the face and nodded in agreement. The two girls understood each other all too well. It was almost as if the two girls were telepathic.
Harley sighed heavily and said, 'Well'I guess we should just turn around and head back.' When Leah spun around to start heading back, a pair of icy hands grabbed her. Leah looked up terrified. A man with a baseball cap and short scraggly beard was right in front of her. He had a devilish look in his eyes and stared down right at Leah. When Leah saw his expression, her eyes grew wide with terror.
'Let her go!' Harley yelled towards the stranger. His head snapped up and now looked at Harley. The man loosened his grip on Leah and stepped closer to Harley. Harley, being the tomboy she was, crouched down, ready to fight. Before anyone could move, Leah took off running back towards where they came. Quickly, she turned around to see if she could catch a glimpse of Harley. Apparently, they had wandered down an alleyway. Leah could see the vague outline of her best friend struggling with a complete, possibly psychopathic stranger. The figures became shadows as Leah stood there and watched them turn the corner at the other end of the alleyway. Leah could not believe what just happened. After she pulled herself together, she quickly pulled out her phone and dialed 911.
The woman on the other end said, '911 what is your emergency.'
Leah, still dumfounded, managed to utter the words, 'I need help,' when suddenly the same scruffy man came up behind her, closed her phone and put his finger over his lips signaling Leah to be quiet.
Arlington Heights, Illinois
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