The wedding day had started out annoying and moved on to bizarre as the day went on. Agreeing to be the maid of honor for the girl my brother was marrying mainly came down to self-preservation. I'd only found out about it last week and my mother's laser glare made saying no, not on my options list. This girl and Daniel had just met, so I barely knew her.
And why would she want me to be Maid of Honor?
Didn't she have friends of her own?
Why was she getting ready at our house? What about her family? See? Annoying.
“Ugh.” I stomped up the stairs carrying her shoes, veil, makeup bag and corset while trying hard not to trip on the incredibly ugly dress she'd picked for me. There weren't even any other bridesmaids to complain with. Nope. Just me. Fetching and carrying like a servant for the entire weekend.
The dress wasn't that ugly, but the fact that I had to wear any dress and stand up in front of a bunch of people brought about the foul mood.
And you know, people.
Honestly, Allie was sweet from what I could tell. We hadn't spent a lot of time together, but so far I didn't want to hide every time she tried to have a conversation. In my world that equaled a high compliment.
And my mom was the only one ordering me around. The cleaning frenzy had begun the moment she realized the wedding would be held here at the house.
For the entire last week, I'd been stuck at home cleaning while my mom zoomed around the house like some spazzed out cleaning machine never without a mop, bucket or cleaning rag
The entire house smelled like Lysol. Very romantic.
I bumped open the door to the bedroom with my hip. “Here you go, your ladyship,” I singsonged.
Before coming upstairs, my mother had sent me the next in a parade of death glares that communicated I was to ‘be pleasant or die a hideously painful death at her capable hands.' Mostly I liked my life, so my sweetest fake smile was firmly plastered on my face.
No answer. Huh.
I moved slowly into the room. She couldn't still be in the shower, could she? I didn't hear water running. And the door was open.
I poked my head in the bathroom. “Allie, you in here?”
Empty. Turning fast, I glanced around my parent's bedroom. There weren't too many places to hide a full grown person. Making my way to the walk-in closet, I knocked.
“Allie are you in here?” No answer and my knock gave back a hollow emptiness.
I opened the door. Not here.
“Really?” I huffed.
I shut the door and headed out of the room to do what any reasonable person does when they need a problem solved.
“What is it, Ryan?” My mom called out in annoyance
“Is Allie with you?”
“Of course not. She's in my room.” My mother stood at the bottom of the stairs glaring up at me.
“No, she's not.” I shook my head for emphasis.
“Is she in your room?”
“Hang on.” I did a quick check of the other upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms calling for her.
“Nope,” I said coming back to the top of the stairs.
My mother was no longer there.
“Allie?” my mom shouted as she ran through the downstairs. “Allie?”
As I stood, waiting for my mom to come back, I wondered.
Had Allie's stuff still been in the room?
I stomped back to my parent's bedroom mumbling under my breath. “Ridiculous, I don't even want to be here.”
I froze in the doorway. Phone, purse, keys, money, and her wedding dress hanging from the chandelier, everything was still in place.
Last time I saw her, an hour ago, she was in an old concert t-shirt and pajama bottoms with hearts on them about to get in the shower. My heart started to pound, and my stomach dipped and twisted.
She had to be downstairs, didn't she? At that exact moment pounding footsteps were coming up the stairs.
“Ryan, are you sure,” My mom was asking as she came into the room out of breath. She stopped dead when she saw me holding Allie's open purse.
At that moment our eyes met, and my fear was reflected back to me.
“Is everything in there?” she asked her voice low.
The hair on my arm was standing up.
She turned and ran. “Ben!” she shouted for my dad at the top of her lungs. “Ben!”
We searched the house, the garage, the basement and the entire property. No sign of her or anyone else. Nothing anywhere.
Where had Allie gone?
In her pajamas?
On her wedding day?
To my readers:
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