“Look, it was a just a few drinks.”
“Three bottles of expensive champagne, Sarah.”
“Like I said – a few drinks.”
“Do you think about anyone else before you start on the drink? Do you know who has to pick up the pieces after one of your benders?”
Sarah stared at me, different emotions crossing her face. Embarrassment, shame, disgust and then anger.
“How dare you speak to me like that!” she screeched at me. “You haven’t seen me in years, Charlie, so how would you know anything?!”
“Do you think I don’t talk to Kayla?” I shouted at her. “She calls me every time you drink too much. Why does she do it? She can’t talk to Darren because he’s too busy trying to save you from hurting yourself!”
Sarah’s wide blue eyes were round with fright. I had never shouted at her before. There had never been a need. Even when she left me with Kayla I never lost my temper because I knew she was doing it for Kayla. But this was just disgraceful. She can drink in her own house but coming to Kayla’s graduation drunk?
“Are you saying that Michaela came here was to escape me?” Sarah looked near tears.
“Actually she left because of Darren,” I replied.
“Darren doesn’t treat her bad at all!”
“He doesn’t treat her anything,” I stressed. “He’s too stressed and worried about you to even bother with Kayla. She thinks he hates her when in fact his time’s occupied looking after you.”
Just then Darren came out of the gymnasium looking slightly happier than when he went in.
“She’ll talk to you, Sarah,” Darren said, smiling slightly. “Kayla doesn’t seem that upset about the incident.”
“Her name’s Michaela, Darren,” Sarah clipped before she pushed past me and into the gymnasium.
“You too,” I said to Darren.
“I don’t get what’s so bad about ‘Kayla’,” he told me.
“I’ve been calling Kayla that ever since she was a little girl. Sarah’s just trying to rid me of her life.”
We stood in silence for a few minutes. Darren stared down at his feet, feeling awkward at my answer. He felt guilty now for saying anything. Giving him a friendly pat on the back, to show no hard feelings, I went into the gymnasium to be there in case a fight broke out. The hall was still packed with students, some still in yellow robes, and their parents. I spotted Edward with his family but Kayla was not with him. Maybe he had left her to give her some privacy with Sarah. I wandered through the crowd, trying to find Sarah and Kayla. They shouldn’t be far from Edward as he wouldn’t leave her alone without being within ten feet of her. Panic rose up in me and I squashed it down. There was no reason to panic. Kayla probably took her mother off into a quiet corner so her shouts could be heard well. This calmed me down and I managed not to shout out Kayla’s name. I didn’t want to embarrass her. Sarah had done enough of that.
“Charlie!” a panicked voice shouted behind me. I turned and saw Jacob running towards me with Mitchell.
“I can’t find Michaela.” Mitchell was the panicked one. His blue eyes were full of fear.
“Her scent’s weak, Charlie,” Jacob said. He was better at disguising his fear although he was breaking down inside his own mind. “I can’t find it strong anywhere.”
“She’s probably gone outside,” I said, trying to calm them as well as myself. “Sarah wanted to talk to her.”
“Weren’t you outside?” Mitchell asked.
“There’s got to be mais exits in this hall than one.”
Sarah was making her way towards me now. She didn’t look as panicked as Mitchell so I assumed she had spoken to Kayla and everything was going fine.
“I can’t find Michaela anywhere,” she said. “Then again every student here is wearing yellow so it’s no wonder.”
A doubt of worry was swirling round her mind no matter what mask she wore on her face. She was like Jacob in that way.
I looked around and saw that only a few were wearing yellow robes and it was definite that Kayla would have gotten out of her robe, veste, roupão as fast as she could. Even Edward wasn’t wearing his.
“Don’t worry,” I assured Sarah. “She’s probably in a corner with her boyfriend.”
Sarah nodded but doubted it.
Was this going to be mais bad news? I didn’t know if I could handle another person coming to me and saying they can’t find Kayla. Couldn’t they just do a thorough check of the gymnasium before they worried me?
This time it was Carlisle that had shouted me. He was walking towards me with his wife and Edward. They all had smiles plastered on their faces.
“Congratulations, Charlie.” Carlisle shook my hand. “You must be proud of Kayla.”
“Very proud,” I said. “No need to ask if you’re proud of Edward. He’s a brilliant young man.”
Edward was staring intently at Sarah and I think I knew why.
“I don’t believe we’ve met,” Esme smiled at Sarah.
“Sarah Swan,” Sarah held out her hand to Esme. “Michaela’s mother.”
“Esme Cullen, Edward’s mother.” Esme shook her hand and introduced Carlisle.
“Where’s Kayla?” Edward asked me. “I left her a few minutos atrás to talk to her mother.”
Sarah shrugged. “I came in here and I can’t find her. Looked everywhere and not a trace.”
Edward turned sharply in Jacob’s direction.
“You’re right, Jacob,” Edward spoke quietly. “But I will find her. I’m mais familiar with her scent than you. I could pick out her scent in a crowd of thousands.”
Edward sped off, not even at human speed. Esme now looked rather worried and so did Carlisle.
“I’m sure it’s nothing,” I said to them. “She’s probably gone off to have a sulk over the incident.”
“So this is my fault?” Sarah said, heatedly. “Michaela’s disappeared and it’s my fault?”
“I didn’t say it was.” I didn’t want to deal with her right now. If Kayla had disappeared then I didn’t want to waste time arguing with Sarah.
Before Sarah could retaliate Edward appeared with Alice. Edward was clutching a mass of yellow.
“I found these at the side entrance.”
“Kayla’s graduation robe,” Esme whispered.
“She had these in her hands before I left her,” Edward said. “I’m positive of it.”
“I’m sorry,” Alice’s gold eyes were fearful. “I didn’t see this at all. Nothing.”
“It’s not your fault, Alice,” I comforted the small vampire. She loved Kayla and the poor thing was going to torture herself over this. I turned to Jacob. “Inform Sam and start searching. Go from the side door and try to trace her scent.”
Jacob nodded once and was gone.
“I want to help them,” Edward said. “I’m not staying here.”
I ignored him and turned to Mitchell. “Try to track her por her abilities. Go.”
“Charlie I’m not staying here!” Edward snarled. “She could be hurt! I want to help her!”
“Stay here, Edward. The pack and Mitchell have this.”
With his eyes blazing like gold fogo he turned on his heel and was gone in a blur of white.
“I’ll see if I can find her,” Alice said and she too was gone in a white blur.
The only people left were Carlisle, Esme and Sarah. Sarah looked horrified. She had just realised that Kayla was now missing and something wasn’t right about it. Of course, she knew about what I was and would be sure to blame me.
“I have to go get Darren,” she said, turning away from me. All the anger had left her. Her shoulders were slouched and she shuffled, not walked.
“You know what to do,” I said to Carlisle and Esme. They nodded and they too were gone. I was left standing alone. A hole opened up in my chest and every emotion I had suppressed when I first couldn’t find Kayla spilled over and flooded me. Where was my baby girl?