Copyright© 2020 by Olga Chinka
Dressed in our costumes, we pile into the car. The whole family on their way to church. We ride in silence, no one knowing what to say. The parking lot at church is packed. It’s the day before Christmas, and attending this play is what everyone will do before they celebrate Christmas Eve at home with their families.
The church was transformed for the holidays. Garland hung from every doorway; every corner had a fully decorated Christmas tree. There was even a snow machine shooting out what looked like real snow. I could feel the Christmas spirit as I entered the auditorium and heard the music bouncing off the walls.
The props were set up and the stage was stunning. The worry from the morning was slipping away as excitement filled the air. I spotted Taylor waving to me on the stage. I hurry over to her, excited to update her on what has happened.
“Taylor I was right! She was attacked.”
“You’re joking!” Eyes wide open, Taylor hangs on my every word.
“The police were at her house this morning. They found her unconscious, tied up in her kitchen.”
“Is she alive?”
“Barely. She’s at the hospital right now.”
We climb the bleachers and take our spots among the other choir members. In the corner I spot Jane and Steve deep in a discussion. She is probably filling him in on what had happened.
“I can’t believe you were right Rachel” Taylor’s voice brings me back to our conversation.
“It’s scary to think someone would want to hurt an innocent old lady like that. I wonder who it was.”
“You did say it was the silhouette of a man, right?”
“I wonder how he got in? Do you think she knows who he was?” Taylor looks like she’s dying to know more details.
That’s when I realize, I completely forgot to tell Taylor! I broke into someone’s home, found blood on the carpet, smashed a window with a brick, and my best friend knew none of this.
“Man, Taylor I really need to update you” I say as I look around making sure no one was listening to us. “Jane and I broke into her home. Someone had smashed her window and there was blood on the carpet!”
Taylor’s eyes shoot wide open. Listening to myself retell it, even I am surprised at the things I have done lately.
“You told Jane?”
“Jane saved my life! A car tried to run me over in the parking lot at church. She pulled me out of the way. If she was not there, I would have been a goner!”
“Wow that’s twice now someone has tried to hurt you. The brick at the mall and now this. Did you tell Jane everything?”
“She knows everything. I needed help and she was asking questions. We didn’t know how to alert the police so we snuck out in the middle of the night and smashed her window with a brick. I woke up to our street full of police. The paramedics took her out on a stretcher with oxygen.”
“You’re a hero Rachel! You probably saved her life with that move. What did the police say when you told them about what you saw?
“That’s the thing. I didn’t tell them anything yet. Mr. Whitmore freaked out about me missing the play and convinced my dad to take me after the service.”
“You definitely need to tell them what you saw”
The music stops as our pastor begins to speak on the stage. I look out into the auditorium and I can see that the place is packed full of people. I wonder if the attacker is here right now? I wonder if he is watching me? I have a sinking feeling in my stomach, I definitely know more than I am supposed to. I wonder just how desperate the guy will be to keep me quiet about what I know?
I have to push my worries aside as the music begins to play and the choir members around me start singing the first carol. Deciding to worry about it later, I join in on the singing, not fully sure whether the eyes I feel watching me are my parent’s or someone with more sinister intentions.