Friday, December 19, 2008

October 24, 2008

After Brad had locked the dogs in his garage (he called them a nuisance) and had gotten Jeremy and I each a bike from his basement, we were ready to go.

“Get anything from her cell phone,” I asked Jeremy.

He was busy flipping though contacts and old messages. But he shook his head. “No . . . nothing.”
Eliot scowled and grabbed the phone from him. “Man, you don’t know squat.” He clicked through a menu or two, then stopped. “Here, it says “Oct. 21”. That’s the day she left, right?”

We both nodded. Brad leaned against the side of the house, watching us.

“She got four messages that day. See?” Eliot pointed to a new screen as he turned the phone to face me.

Jeremy grabbed it back and read through the messages. “There’s this one . . . it says, ‘she fell for it. meet you at park at five.’”

Brad smiled. “Sounds like she’s got a partner in crime.”

“Then this other kid must be missing too!” Jeremy glanced at the sender’s number and dialed it into his own cell. “Guess we’ll find out.”

While we waited for him to get off the phone Eliot ran his fingers through his hair and I paced. Brad stayed against the house, thinking I would assume.

“Uhh,” Jeremy came up behind me. “This is my brother. Repeat what you just told me.” He shoved the phone at me and I pressed it to my ear.

“This is Cam’s brother?”

“Yeah, I’m Jove.”

“Your brother Jeremy says that Cam has gone missing.”

“She isn’t at your house?”

There was an uncomfortable silence.

“Well . . . no. My daughter was supposed to spend the night at your house two nights ago. She never came home, and I thought she must have stayed longer.”

“Your daughter? What’s her name?”


“Okay, Miss . . .”

“Mrs. Cramer.”

“Okay, Mrs. Cramer, we’re going to try and find my sister and your daughter. Please don’t call the police yet.”

“I won’t. Gwen has never been in trouble before . . . and she’d never run away—“

“We’re pretty sure she did,” I interrupted. “But please, we’ll call you again if we find anything.”

There was silence and a bit of static at the other end, but the she said, “Thank you Jove. Goodbye.” Click.

I snapped Jeremy’s phone shut. “We’ve got two runaways. Cam and her friend Gwen.”

Jeremy nodded. “Sounds like they planned it ahead of time.”

Brad sighed. “There aren’t many places two thirteen year olds can run away together . . .”

“Not really,” I said.

“Might as well start looking,” Eliot muttered. “We’re not going to get anywhere like this.”

Jeremy was looking through Cam’s contacts again.

“Hey . . . Jove, look at this.” He held the screen up fro me to see. He’d highlighted a contact that said “Jupiter”.

That stopped me cold. Jupiter . . . Phoenix had told me that Jupiter was sometimes called “Jove”. I could feel my eye widen at the thought.

Could she have known that I had a blog all this time? And actually read it?

“What’s the number?” Brad took it from Jeremy and recited “121-37767328”.

“That can’t be right,” he said as he looked at it closer. “There’re way too many numbers.”

Eliot sat down on the pavement and crossed his legs Indian-style. “But numbers can mean letters too. Try that.”

We all set to work on our own phones, trying to figure out what it could be—if that was even it.

“The ‘121’ can’t be a word. An address number maybe?” Jeremy looked up at me and I nodded.” Yeah, try the other eight letters now.”

“A street name,” Brad mumbled. He ran inside to get a piece of paper.
He came back with a pen and notebook with letters already scrawled over the front page. “Here, this is what I have so far.”

1. Srospeat
2. Prospect
3. Qrosrect

“You’re ridiculous,” Eliot laughed. “Prospect is the only street possible out of those combinations!”

“Then let’s get over there!” Jeremy was already on his borrowed bike and flying down the street before we could even get on ours. Brad rode the pegs of Eliot’s bike since he’d lent both his bikes to me and Jeremy.

All I could think as I pounded the pedals, standing up to force the bike forward, was “You’d better be there Cam.”

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