*Two Months Later*

    Today I was told that I was being dismissed from the hospital. I haven't talked much since the incident. I only speak when its required. Even then, its a simple answer. Yeses and no's. I am afraid to be around men now. I was not innocent, I think to myself.

    Before I know it, Sammi is here to pick me up from the hospital, "Let's go hun." I obey silently, walking to the car and taking the shotgun seat. I stare out the window for about ten minutes when she speaks up, "How are you feeling?" I look at her briefly then turn my gaze back towards the skies. "Look, Val, if you don't want to talk I understand. But you can't just not respond. Please, do something. Smile, wave, anything."

    I look back towards her and fake a smile before looking out the window once again.


    All the images race through my head, and they bring the feelings with them too. That day she left, I thought she would be back. The next day, I thought she had left me. No, she wouldn't take my car and leave. She wouldn't leave without warning me, I thought to myself.

    And then it hit me, that night before she left, we had done stuff. The first place I thought of going was to Sammi's house. I walked to the front of the bus to Jon and told him to drive the bus to Sammi's house. It was a two hour drive, and the whole time I was hoping, praying, that Valeri would be there. When we got into Sammi's neighborhood, I got anxious. I almost didn't catch him when he drove past her house. "Jon! Back up. You missed it." I told him. Job stopped the bus and backed up. I jumped out of the bus and sprinted as fast as my gazelle legs could carry me. I banged on the door until Sammi opened up, "Oh, hi Andy! Why are you here? Aren't you supposed to be on tour?"

    I nod my head, then she understood that something was wrong. I  looked her dead in the eye, "Is Valeri here with you?" I tried to say it without my voice breaking, bit at the last word, it did. Her eyes softened as she shook her head, "No, Andy. I'm so sorry."

    I fell to the ground because my knees gave out. I couldn't bear this burden. The next think I knew was the guys carrying me back to the bus. I knew I had to keep looking. I couldn't just give up on her. Not then.

    I was dragged into the bus and locked in the back room. It had been a week since she went missing and it hurt. Bad. After I gave up on trying to get out of the back room, I sat against the door, thinking of sweet, sweet Valeri. I imagined someone just bursting into the bus and yelling that she was found. Happiness bloomed in my heart only to be crushed by my realization of reality. Tears fled from my eyes like separate waterfalls. Like the waterfalls I was going to take her to the next week to ask her to be my girlfriend. All of those ideas were ruined. I would never see Val's sweet candy smile ever again. I would never get the life that I wanted with her.

    That night I prayed and prayed for her to come back. I didn't care that I wasn't really a religious person. I still prayed, last resort. Those next few days I did not eat. I only accepted water. I just kept thinking about our life together that we would never have. It has been three weeks and the guys gave up on looking for her. I nearly killed Ashley because it was his idea to stop looking. "WHAT THE F$&# MAN! YOU CANT JUST GIVE UP ON HER LIKE THAT!" I yelled at him. He tried so hard to keep his cool, well tried, "WE ARE ALREADY BEHIND ON TOUR! THIS GIRL CAN BE PUT ON HOLD! IF SHES BEEN GONE THIS LONG THEN SHE DOESNT WANT YOUR SORRY A$$ OR SHES DEAD!" That's when I dropped to the ground and just cried. It seems to me that it was the only thing I could do is cry.

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