Hopeful Promises (P. U. pt. 2)

Submitted for Contest #78 in response to: Write about someone who keeps an unusual animal as a pet.... view prompt

Jan 27, 2021

Crime Fiction Suspense

Author’s Note: This is part two of Nadia and Elias’s story, from my story “Please Understand.” It would probably make sense if you read part one first, which is pretty short. I’m not sure if this counts as a trigger warning, but it does involve kidnapping as a major part of the plot. Thank you for being here on a story I wrote, I hope you enjoy it. Have an amazing day! 

𝙴𝙻𝙸𝙰𝚂'𝚂 𝙿𝙾𝚅:

“The police department only considers a person missing if they have been gone for at least twenty-four hours. Until then, there is nothing we can do. I’m sorry, sir, it’s protocol.” his voice is uninterested as if he has had this repetitive conversation many times before.

Are we really at this point, where we have come to expect crime to suddenly snatch people from our lives? Where the very people meant to help us save them are rendered useless by pointless rules?

“Are you kidding me? There is no way she would stay out this late. Something happened, I’m sure of it. She could be in danger at this very moment.” 

If you knew Nadia the way I do, you would understand.

“I am only following orders here, sir. Nothing more, nothing less,” he tells me. 

“You have to do something, quickly,” I plead, then more quietly,  “Before it’s too late”

“I’m sorry, sir. I cannot help you.” 

He hangs up the phone, leaving me in haunting silence. It penetrates me the same way as the silence Nadia left me in when she suddenly said goodbye.

Maybe I’m being paranoid, maybe she’s fine. I tell myself this again and again, but I can never quite convince myself. If she isn’t home by tomorrow morning, I’ll be out there before the police. Searching for the girl I failed, the one I didn’t have the time to save.

I’m coming, Nadia, I promise.

🞛🞛🞛

The pieces come together late at night. Flashes of our conversation, piecing themselves together to form a horrifying truth. I desperately wish it’s only my imagination playing with me, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Tailgated.

Was that your first warning? The first time you tried to alert me of the danger you were in? Tailgated, followed. If only I had understood sooner.

Black van.

Is that where you are right now? Stuffed behind the darkened windows, being taken far away from everything you have ever known. Far away from anyone looking for you.

Closing in.

If only I had known that while I was chattering on about our plans for the night, you were scared for your life. If only I could have been there for you.

The storm is long overdue.

I always knew this was your greatest fear, seeing the way you always made sure the doors were safely locked at night. You never deserved this. Why did it have to be you?

You probably won’t be hearing from me for a while.

But I will see you again, I’ll make sure of it. I’ll search for as long as it takes. Hopefully, it’ll only take days. But then again, if it takes years, that’s how long I’ll search.

I’m not giving up on you.

🞛🞛🞛

Ida Fletcher

The name comes back to me early in the morning as I sip my coffee staring out the window. I remember reading about her story a few years ago when it filled every newspaper in sight. Her story is one of both astounding success and catastrophic failure. A retired detective, who used to specialize in missing persons. Who found so many lost children, returning them to the eternally grateful families. Until one time she didn’t.

I’ve read the news of her failure, the time she followed a false trail. The time she misread the clues and searched in all the wrong places. By the time the child was found, it was already too late. And from what I’ve heard, she still hasn’t been able to forgive herself.

It’s the same for all of us, we are remembered for the mistakes we made, not the good we did.

I quickly retrieve my beaten-down computer from the other room and pull up a new window. My fingers slowly type her name in the search bar along with the words “Los Angeles, California” There are only three results in this area, three phone numbers with the same name attached.

I randomly pick one and dial the number. It rings only a few times before an overenthusiastic voice answers.

“Hello, you have reached Fletcher Contracting. How may I help you today?” 

“I think I have the wrong number. Sorry.” I say before clumsily hanging up and trying the second number. My phone rings slowly, giving no indication as to whether or not someone on the other end will pick up. Just when I am about to end the call, moving on to the third number, an annoyed voice echoes from the device.

“Who’s this?” 

“My name is Elias Garner,” I reply, cautiously.

“Why are you calling? What do you want from me?” She spits the words out as if she is afraid to have them touch her tongue. 

“My best friend has gone missing. She suddenly hung up on me while she was walking home last night and she hasn't come home since,” I explain, hoping she can’t hear the fear in my voice.

“I stopped helping people with these things long ago. Surely if you ever heard of me you would know that.”

“Please, at least hear me out. I might sound desperate, but I’ll beg you if I need to. If you’re the one that can help me get her back.”

A moment of silence passes as she considers my words. I bite my lip and clench my teeth together, anxiously awaiting her response.

“Please,” I whisper, pleading with her.

“Meet me at the bridge at Echo Park Lake at noon. I’ll hear you out, but I can’t make any guarantees. I swore off this job years ago for good reason,” she sounds reluctant to agree as if she could change her mind at any moment. 

“Thank you,” I tell her, sincerely, hoping she will stick to her word.

I end the call with a newfound determination, Ida Fletcher has given me a chance. A chance to find Nadia.

🞛🞛🞛

In the middle of summer in the park, all the flowers are drooping on their stems, no longer carrying the energy to stand up straight. Even the palm trees lining the lake appear wilted and lacking their usual rich color.

A figure leans against the rails of the bridge, skipping stones across the gentle lake below her. They hop across the water, ripples radiating out from underneath them. Her long hair is braided down her back, almost extending all the way to her hips.

“Ida?” 

She nods in response, eyeing me suspiciously as I walk over to the railing to stand next to her. A squirrel perches on her shoulder, its fluffy tail twitching.

“This is Coco,” she says, following my gaze, “Believe it or not, she is actually a better companion than most humans I’ve met.”

“I’m not surprised,” I tell her simply, earning a soft laugh in return. When she makes it clear she doesn’t have plans to speak again, I open my mouth.

“I really appreciate you meeting me here. I need to find Nadia, my friend, as soon as possible and the police haven’t been much help. Wherever she is right now, I know she is waiting for me. I don’t want to keep her waiting long,” I tell her, staring at the water beneath us.

“I’m sorry to hear about your friend, but I haven’t helped find missing people for years now. Ever since that last case, The Case,” she says, her words carrying the weight of every memory behind them.

“What happened all those years ago? It was a mistake, you couldn’t have known it would end that way.”

“A mistake? Dear boy, a life was taken when I slipped up. That family trusted me to save their little boy, they trusted me with his life. I failed them. And chances are, if I agree to help you, I’ll end up failing you as well. I won’t make that mistake again,” she says, making it apparent that these thoughts have been gnawing away at her for a while now.

“It’s really not much different, whether you refuse to help or aren’t able to help. The only difference is if you at least try, try to help me find her, there’s a chance you’ll succeed. There’s a chance my best friend won’t die before her life really began.”

She breaks our eye contact and studies the lake, deep in thought. Silence seems to have become my greatest fear lately.

“I’ll try. I can’t promise anything more.” she agrees, hesitantly. 

“That’s okay, I’m not asking for anything more.” I assure her, “I can’t even begin to tell you how much this means to me.”

She nods solemnly once more then tosses another stone onto the surface of the water. 

My eyes take in the beautiful view of the city, wishing Nadia was here to share the sight with.

I softly whisper to anyone listening, hoping they will pass on the message until it reaches the one it is meant for.

I promise, Nadia, I won’t fail you again.

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151 comments

Danny ~
23:42 Jan 28, 2021

I only noticed today I haven't added this to my library yet... Lol I was so consumed in the story I forgot to like it! I'm Sorrryyyyyyyyyyy

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Maya Emerson
23:43 Jan 28, 2021

Lol it's fine, I didn't notice. XD How's your day been? :)

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Danny ~
23:46 Jan 28, 2021

It's great! How's yours?

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Maya Emerson
23:48 Jan 28, 2021

Great! Snowy :)

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Danny ~
23:50 Jan 28, 2021

Oh right :) ohhh have you gone outside? Snow sounds, hmmm, cold..

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Maya Emerson
23:52 Jan 28, 2021

Lol I did but kinda quick cause I forgot to wear a jacket. It wasn't super deep but it was still pretty. My dog ate literally soooo much snow. :DDD

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Danny ~
23:55 Jan 29, 2021

Hiiii :)) what do you think of the new prompts?

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Maya Emerson
00:08 Jan 30, 2021

Heyyaaa :))) I actually really love them, I have a lot of ideas and I can continue my series! Do you like them?

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Danny ~
00:10 Jan 30, 2021

Oh yesssss, I don't really have any ideas for them at the moment :/ but oooohhhh, can't wait for your stories :))

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Maya Emerson
00:11 Jan 30, 2021

Thanksssss! I'm really excited to read yours too! How has your day been?

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Danny ~
00:14 Jan 30, 2021

It's great! Any plans for the weekend?

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Maya Emerson
00:16 Jan 30, 2021

Normal stuff, I never have any interesting plans during covid. I have Friday energy, though. XD You?

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Nainika Gupta
18:57 Jan 29, 2021

Maya...about GoL part 7.....its not come out yet, but... I’m…terribly sorry. That’s all I’m going to say. Feel free to scream, yell, and vent at me….but yeah. I just have to say, from my bottom of my heart…my bad.

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Maya Emerson
18:58 Jan 29, 2021

Aww DDDDD: Well, are you at least going to write it for the new contest?

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Nainika Gupta
19:00 Jan 29, 2021

NOO I MEAN ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS IN THE STORY ITS COMING OUT IN THE NEXT HALF OUT XD

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Maya Emerson
19:10 Jan 29, 2021

Ohhhhh OMG you meant something really bad is going to happen??

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Nainika Gupta
19:15 Jan 29, 2021

AHHHHH IM SO SORRRRYYYYYYYYY (yes)

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Maya Emerson
19:17 Jan 29, 2021

OMG THE SUSPENSE IT BETTER NOT BE TOO BAD >:(

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Danny ~
01:22 Jan 28, 2021

I posted a new storyyyy, lol....the story i was talking to you about that was inspired by my music homework (which i think i told you last week, soooo yes it took me that long to make it- mostly because i was listening to 1940's radio thingsss, you should check it out, their accents are soooooo, just so) :DD

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Maya Emerson
01:27 Jan 28, 2021

Lol I know you posted a new story, I already read it and commented. :DDD

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Danny ~
01:28 Jan 28, 2021

Oh i was wondering how you typed so fast.....lol my notifications are getting all messed up, idk why

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Maya Emerson
01:30 Jan 28, 2021

Oh lol :)

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Danny ~
01:34 Jan 28, 2021

:)

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WOW, love this Maya!!!!!!!!!!! I mean I love it!!!! Such a wonderful beginning to a mystery story! Waiting for part 2! 1. care of magical creatures🐉 2. week in a forest 3. rewind for sure:D 4.water balloon! 5.Maybe forgotten? Love this story Maya!!! <33

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Maya Emerson
22:22 Jan 27, 2021

Thanks so much, Varsha! More answers for the poll, yay! Btw this was actually part two, my story "Please Understand" was part one of the series. XD I made the Skribbls group meeting place! :D

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Of course! Ohh I see. YAY!

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Maya Emerson
22:27 Jan 27, 2021

:DDD

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So, I just started watching the show "The watch" and the line "Are we really at this point, where we have come to expect crime to suddenly snatch people from our lives?" is really powerful and similar. Poll! 1. Okay... so I know I'm Thunderbird, so Transfiguration is my specialty because being the same thing is stupid. 2. Spoopy 3. Pause. Makes a great medium for monologues. 4. Water balloon; at least my outfit wouldn't be ruined as much. 5. I want to be known as an evil dictator, lol. Not like THAT guy though.

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Maya Emerson
17:51 Jan 27, 2021

Thanks for reading! Lol which guy? I think I might know who but...

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I shouldn't say... lol

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Maya Emerson
17:54 Jan 27, 2021

Okay... XD

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Danny ~
05:57 Jan 27, 2021

AhhhhHhhHHhhHhhHHHh I love it! Can't wait for part 3....Also, how do you write so fast?

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Danny ~
05:58 Jan 27, 2021

Also also, how did you change the font? secretttsss, I neeeed them

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Maya Emerson
06:00 Jan 27, 2021

You mean the weird fonts? https://lingojam.com/WeirdTextGenerator

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Danny ~
06:02 Jan 27, 2021

I meant the 'Elias's POV', you can change your story's fonts?

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Maya Emerson
06:03 Jan 27, 2021

Yeah, I just used the weird font generator for that. :)

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Danny ~
06:04 Jan 27, 2021

Ohhh, I wonder if I'll be able to use that with all the words (Not that I will, I just think it's fun)

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Maya Emerson
05:59 Jan 27, 2021

Thanks! :DDD It actually wasn't that fast, Lol. XD

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Danny ~
06:01 Jan 27, 2021

It was reeeaaal fast, remember when you asked me what the squirrel's name should be? Yeah that, I've only written a paragraph since then lol

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Maya Emerson
06:02 Jan 27, 2021

Lol well I'm not in school right now like you XD

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Danny ~
06:03 Jan 27, 2021

Oh yeah, i forgot about that :/ lol

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Maya Emerson
06:05 Jan 27, 2021

Lol It's pretty late so byyyeee ttyl :D

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Maya Emerson
05:51 Jan 27, 2021

Thanks for reading! Feedback is always appreciated. Also, I might change the title if I think of something better. :) A quick poll again, cause why not? 1. What would be your favorite Hogwarts class; transfiguration🐁, charms 🪶, potions⚗️, herbology🍀, defense against the dark arts👁, care of magical creatures🐉, divination🔮, muggle studies🙋, or quidditch🧹? 2. Would you rather spend a week in the forest or a night in a real haunted house?👻 3. Would you rather have a pause or a rewind button in your life?📺 4. Would you rather get trapped in ...

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16:53 Jan 27, 2021

1. defense against the dark arts or transfiguration cuz i like ACTION 👁 2. forest, haunted houses are CREEPY 🌲🌳 3. rewind, so I could say different things instead of what I ACTUALLY said XD 🎥 4. water balloon fight cause having food on you is gross 💦🎈 5. uhmmmmm maybe forgotten? i don't like either I LOVE POLLS

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Maya Emerson
16:58 Jan 27, 2021

Yayyyyy!!!!! XDDD

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04:37 Feb 05, 2021

1. None. I don't know HP. 2. A week in the forest 100%. 3. I don't know. They both seem pretty useless tbh lol. But I think I'd choose the rewind button. 4. I mean, the obvious, sensible answer is waterballoon fight, because that's fun and all, but I have to choose food fight because there's just this awesome feeling when you get food everywhere you know? When you do the opposite of what you've been told is good manners and the right thing for your whole life. That's why 'pieing' people is done so often haha. So foodfight. Terrible but AWESO...

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18:50 Jan 29, 2021

Hi Maya!! I think I'm going to write a reedsy cast story either this week or next week(you already know that:D) and I was wondering if you wanted to be in it? If you do, you can answer a few questions about your character, and if not you can just ignore the comment or tell me you don't:) Eye Color: Hair(type color style): Skin tone: Power(magical): Element: Species(you can be human, just thought I'd throw it in): Personality: Clothes: Weakness(not physical, so like jealousy or smth): Any other notes:

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Maya Emerson
18:59 Jan 29, 2021

OMG thank you so much, Luna! I would LOVE to be in you reedsy-cast. Can I answer these in a sec cause I'm in school rn?

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19:05 Jan 29, 2021

Of course! Take your time!!

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Maya Emerson
19:11 Jan 29, 2021

Thanks! And thank you so much for including me!

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19:15 Jan 29, 2021

Of course!! Cant wait for skribbl later!!

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Maya Emerson
19:17 Jan 29, 2021

Yay! :D

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Maya Emerson
23:42 Jan 29, 2021

Okay, here's my answers: Eye color: Green Hair: Golden-brown colored and really curly Skin tone: Caucasian? (If that's what you mean) Power: Manipulation of Gravity (Meaning I can fly but also make other things fly/ fall. My powers would work good in space, cause I could mess with gravity and move planets. XD) Element: Fire :) Spieces: Human Personality: Very Dauntless (the faction from Divergent), friendly, adventurous, kinda smart, creative/ artistic. Sorry, I'm bad at describing myself. XD Clothes: Hoodies and leggings, just kind of simp...

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00:33 Jan 30, 2021

Thanks Maya! I'd love to be in it! Name: Luna Size: Not sure what you mean...but I guess tall? Lmk if you were asking smth else Color: periwinkle Special features: silver wings Personality: curious, naive, adventurous, kind Planet of Origin: umm you can choose...I don't have any ideasXD Special abilities: Empath(if you;ve read KotLC you know what I'm talking abt, but if not it basically is the ability to sense and feel others emotions Other: umm that's it I cant wait for this story, it sounds rly interesting! Thanks for including me:D

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Maya Emerson
00:34 Jan 30, 2021

Thanks! Of course! :))) Have a nice night!!!

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00:36 Jan 30, 2021

Sorry, could I bother you to answer one more question? This wasn't on the original list but I'm adding it because I keep having more ideasXD What would be your weapon of choice? Have a nice night too!!

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Maya Emerson
00:39 Jan 30, 2021

You're not bothering me! :) Ooh, umm, throwing knives or like a light spear. Lol I would need to practice a little first, though. XD

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