Meela woke up late. So groggy, she moaned to herself. She poked an arm out of the warm sleep nest and prodded her phone, ten o’clock? She pushed the pile of covers off and rubbered her eyes. Why hadn’t Mom woken her up?
Through the door she heard nothing. The house was silent, no kettle whistling, no calls to her little brother to stop watching that and go get dressed. She curled her toes in the deep blue pile of rug as she crossed her room. Her curls poked through the door first, and then her head,
“Mom”? She called.
Did they leave her today? Mom always threatened to do that if she didn’t get her ass moving. “We’re just going to GO Meela.” She’d shout at her, but she never would. Would she? THey’d always go outside, but end up sitting in the car while Dad waiting holding her 15lb backpack by the door.
“Mom?” She called again. Into the living room, looked out the window, car’s still here.
She went upstairs to check luke’s room. Door open, Grandma’s handmade christmas quilt that he refused to put away even though it was April on the fuzzy gray carpet. Bed empty.
Pushing open her parent’s bedroom door, her heart thumped in her chest. Three pairs of feet in the bed, one pair small. Impossibly small.
Her screams echoed through the empty house.