2:36pm (Missing: Before the Countdown)

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Macy had not shown up for school today, something that hardly ever happened. In the six years I had known Macy, she had missed exactly two days of school. The first day Macy had missed school was way back in the seventh grade. I remember it was on account of her catching some sort of twenty-four hour virus that made it physically impossible for her to come in. That, however, had not stopped her from trying. I remember Mrs. Sales telling me how she basically had to strap Macy down into her bed, just to keep her from trying to sneak her way out through the window, backpack in hand.

That was how much Macy hated missing school.

The second time Macy had missed class was the day her father passed away, approximately six months ago. I had taken the day out as well, not because I had a close relationship with Macy's father, but because I could tell that Macy had needed me, even if she had not said so herself. Still, she was right back in her usual seat bright and early the next morning.

Macy was not the kind of girl who needed people. She liked hanging out and having fun, she had friends and family, sure. But she didn't need anyone. Macy was the kind of girl who didn't cry and call for her Mother when she fell off her bike and twisted her ankle. No, Macy would find a way back home on her own, even if she had to crawl, just so that she wouldn't have to call anyone for help.

It was this that had always worried me.

When I got to Macy's house, the car was not in the driveway. I found that odd, considering Macy's Mom worked the night shift during the week and was usually home, relaxing by the TV at this time. I figured maybe she just ran to the store and Macy was upstairs lying in her bed, probably moping because she was sick and her Mom had made her stay home from school today. So, I let the uneasiness in my stomach settle as I dug in my bag for the spare key Macy had given me, just in case I had ever needed it.

The first thing I noticed upon walking into the foyer, was that the Welcome mat under my feet was slightly crooked, just as it always was. "I know you like things straight, Max. But there's really no point in fixing it," Macy said, the first time I had come over to hangout at her house. It was half-way through the sixth grade, right after I had moved to Rhode Island from New Jersey.

"Why not?" I had asked, because Macy's responses always amused me. I had only known her for a few short months but I could already tell we were going to be great friends.

"Well, because as soon as you fix it, I'm just going to move it right back to the way it was," she said, a wide smile creeping across her face. "Now, come on! I want to show you my room."

I bounded around the corner and took the stairs two at a time. Macy's room was the second door on the left, the one with the: You have reached Macy's Room. Do NOT enter without permission. (Or Else!) sign on it.

"Hey, Mace! Can I come in?" I asked, not wanting to enter without permission because, well, or else. After a few seconds of silence, I knocked again. "Macy, are you there?" I tried, a little louder this time, as I rested my forehead against the door. Still nothing. "Okay, well, I'm coming in!" I warned, figuring maybe she was just asleep and didn't hear me. I was a little surprised though, when I opened the door, to find Macy's bed made and no Macy in sight.

Puzzled, I pulled my new iPhone out of my pocket (Macy had been so jealous) and took a seat on her bed, plopping my backpack down next to my feet.

Hey, Mace. I'm in your room, don't kill me. I used the spare key. Where R U? Thought you were out sick today?

I put my phone down on the bed and walked over to Macy's desk, hoping maybe I could log into Facebook for a little while, since I had nothing else to do. Lucky for me, Macy had forgotten to lock the screen on her way out, score. First, I checked my Facebook page. Nothing new going on there. Then I logged into my G mail account, making sure to fully log out of my Facebook account first. Macy would kill for the opportunity to hack my page and put up a status about how awesome she is. Correction: how awesome I think she is.

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