National Missing Children’s Day is the inspiration for this short story. National Missing Children’s Day was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan on May 25th, 1983. There was a series of high-profile missing children cases that made national headlines in the several years following the establishment of National Missing Children’s Day. For instance, the Etan Patz case amplified the importance of missing child cases.
Six-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from his New York City home on his way from the bus to school on May 25, 1979. During the time of his disappearance, cases of missing children rarely gained national media attention. Etan’s father was a professional photographer and he distributed black-and-white photographs of his son to find him. Nobody found Etan’s body, and they declared him dead in 2001.
Although there were a couple of leads, it was not until 2012 that they solved the case. A man named Pedro Hernandezconfessed to the crime at a prayer group his sister organized. He confessed that he dumped Patz in the dumpster after he kidnapped and strangled the boy. Even though the result was sad, this case improved the problem of the unsolved child abductions and the lack of plans to address them.
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“I don’t care if it tears our family apart and ruins our reputations. Kerrie’s family deserves some closure.”
Finally, Vanessa had no choice but to call the sheriff’s office. Jacob said it would only make things worse, but she did not see how that was possible.
“What could be worse than turning in your big sister for kidnap and murder?” she huffed. “I can’t live with this horrible secret.”
Jacob shook his head and walked away. Vanessa forced down a sick feeling as she picked up her cellphone and dialed the number to the police station.
“Hi. I need to talk to Sheriff Larkin. It’s about the Kerri Green case.”
Memorial Day, May 25th, 2009
I thought this weekend would be so much fun. It was the perfect weather to swim and enjoy tasty snowballs. I have been dying for a stuffed creamsicle. Something terrible happened, though, and everything was the opposite of fun. The girl from across the street, Kerrie Green, went missing Friday afternoon. She disappeared right after the Memorial Day program, and she didn’t get on the bus to go home. The entire neighborhood searched for her all weekend, and the media got involved. The worst part was being forced to stay home. Mr. Green asked if I knew where she was, and I said no. Kerrie and I are friends but not best friends. I wouldn’t know where she’d go. Charlotte believes that Kerrie ran away because she was tired of her stuck up parents. Kerrie loved her family, especially her dad. I just hope they find her. I can’t stand hearing Mrs. Green wailing anymore.
May 26, 2009
How dare he say that he doesn’t love me after I just killed for him!!! He ruined my life. He should have been the one who had to die. I am so damn stupid! Now Kerrie will haunt me for the rest of my life.
Memorial Day, May 25th, 2015
I can’t believe Trenton finally kissed me!!! After we went to the memorial for Kerrie, we dropped by the lake and kissed under the moonlight. His lips are so soft, and he liked the flavor of my lip gloss. It was AMAZING! I think I love him. Anyway, I am so pissed that Charlotte dropped us off a mile from the memorial. It was over 95 degrees and my hair instantly became a frizzy mess. She was in a rush to go get high and drunk with her friends. She has really become a selfish bitch. She said that Kerrie was a spoiled brat and her family needed to move.
Like seriously?! Kerri was just 10 years old when she disappeared, and she was the only child. I admit that they have dragged it on too long, but I believe the Green family deserves some kind of justice. Investigators only found one of Kerrie’s socks in the woods, but they never found her body. The only lead they had was the old creepy lunch lady, but she had a heart attack a month after Kerrie disappeared. After the case went cold, her parents declared her dead and organized a memorial. Both of them looked like they had the life sucked out of them. The frown lines around Mr. Green’s mouth were as prominent as the sickly thinness of Mrs. Green’s torso. I couldn’t imagine dealing with the pain they have endured.
May 26, 2015
It doesn’t matter how drunk or high I get, I can’t get her out of my head. All I see and dream is the moment when life faded away from her amber eyes as I squeezed tighter. I gotta do something before I go completely insane. I gotta kill him.
Memorial Day, May 25th, 2020
“I killed coach Ronalds for making me kill Kerrie. She walked in on me having sex with the assistant football coach backstage,” Charlotte said as we walked by our middle school a few weeks ago. “She would tell, so he said I should choke her, and he will burn her body at his uncle’s deer camp. He told me our love is too special.”
I always knew Charlotte had many demons, but I never expected this. It has been killing my soul. A part of me still wishes it was just one of her evil jokes. She was totally shitfaced when she told me, but she usually spills the truth when she has liquid courage. She admitted to running over my cat, so why is this different? I just don’t want to accept that she is actually a killer.
This is going to ruin all our statuses in the community. There is no way that I will get the tiara now. The Green Family will finally get justice, though. Hopefully, Charlotte will forgive me one day.
May 27, 2020
“Thanks for taking care of me last night. I’m sorry for I throwing up on your favorite rug.”
Vanessa gripped her phone tighter as she tried to keep her nerves down.
“It’s okay. I need to update my room anyway,” Vanessa replied. “So, do you remember what you told me when we were walking home?”
“Uh, not really… you know how my memory is…especially when I have been drinking.”
“You started talking about Kerrie when we passed the middle school…”
Vanessa heard nothing but Charlotte breathing. Vanessa swallowed hard.
“It’s okay, Char. You can trust me,” she said. “It clearly sounds like Coach Ronalds manipulated you mentally and sexually.”
“Yeah he was a heartless perv. You wouldn’t believe how much agony and pain I endured since that day.”
“I cannot imagine.” Vanessa frowned. “So did he always force you to do things?”
“I really believed that he truly loved me. The real truth is that I wanted to choke Kerrie,” Charlotte replied. “She begged and cried, but something took over me. We actually had sex again. He was so aroused.”
“It is not like I didn’t get any justice though.” Charlotte chuckled. “I seduced him and cut off his penis. I burned and buried his body in the woods.”
“Why didn’t you just go to the police or tell the police? That’s two people you have killed, Char.”
“Oh, what? You’d have done the same,” Charlotte hissed. “Just keep your mouth shut or you will be my third.”
“I understand. I promise,” Vanessa replied. Her voice sounded brittle.
“I didn’t mean to scare you. I just really fucked up. I love you, V. “
Vanessa exhaled deeply.
“It’s okay. I understand,” she said. “I love you too. I gotta go get ready for work. I’ll call you later.”
Vanessa hung up and looked up.
“You did great,” Sheriff Larkin said. “We got all we need to make an arrest.”
“She is going to hate me…”
Tears rolled down Vanessa’s olive colored cheeks. Sheriff Larkin handed her a tissue.
“I know it’s difficult right now but you’re gonna see that this is what is best for her.”
“I hope so.” Vanessa nodded.
May 26, 2022
“I think Charlotte is calling me,” Vanessa said as she checked her calling ID.
She exhaled as she pressed the answer button.
“Hey V. How have you been?” Charlotte answered.
Vanessa felt her body become tensed with confusion and fear. The last time they talked was not exactly pleasant.
“You may be wondering why I am calling. I just wanted to apologize and say thank you for doing the right thing,” Charlotte said. “I was spiraling for too long. I needed some stability. I finally feel like myself again.”
Tears filled Vanessa’s blue eyes.
“It has killed me, Char,” Vanessa said. “I’m glad that you’re doing better. “
“I would love to catch up. Maybe you can come during visiting hours.”
“Love ya, V.”
“I love you too”