What felt like hours later, my phone buzzed in my pocket. I stood up quickly and almost fell back down again, Elijah had to steady me. Sitting in one place for too long made my limbs stiff and I had pins and needles in my feet. I went into the next room and pressed the answer button.
'Isobel! You need to get here right away!' I recognized Tom's panicked tone. He sounded like he had been crying. Instantly I was alert.
'Why? What's wrong?'
'I can't explain over the phone, you just need to get down here now. It's Chrissy.'
As he said those words, I felt my stomach drop. The world suddenly stopped spinning and everything fell silent. I could hear the own frantic beating of my heart, accelerated by the pure fear I felt. I almost dropped the phone through shaking fingers and I could barely stutter out my next question.
'I-Is she okay?'
'I don't know,' he moaned. 'Please Izzy. Hurry.'
'Where are you?' I demanded.
'I'm back at my house. The police are here. You've got to hurry.'
I told Tom I'd be there in minutes and without wasting any time, I ran back into the next room. Everyone stared at me. Rhea was completely out of it; Elijah looked like the only capable one.
'Elijah, it's Chrissy. You've gotta drive me to Toms.'
'What's wrong with Chrissy?'
'I don't know!' I shouted. 'Just please, take me there.'
'I don't have a car!' he protested.
'Borrow mine,' Joey told him, throwing him a set of car keys. Elijah caught them expertly and guided me out the room, down the stairs and into the fresh air. Elijah stopped to ask me what was wrong, but I just grabbed his arm and dragged him along to what I assumed was Joey's car: the only car that flashed when Elijah clicked the button.
The journey was taking far too long. Every red light and slow driver made me want to burst into tears. I was snappy, on edge, and Elijah had no idea why. I cannot describe the relief I felt when I discovered he wasn't completely stoned though. I couldn't have imagined running to Tom's, it would have taken painstakingly ages.
'Isobel, talk to me,' Elijah murmured at the next red light. My feet tapped impatiently against the floor of the car, my eyes never left the traffic lights: I willed it with all of my power to turn green.
'It's Tom. He sounded really upset, he said it was Chrissy. The police are involved,' I told him, not really paying any attention to what I was saying. All I could think about was how much potential danger my best friend could be in. Oh God if something happened to her...
No, I mentally scolded myself. You will not think about the worst.
'Oh God,' Elijah muttered. As soon as the light changed, he floored it, catching onto the sense of urgency.
Two police cars were parked outside the Parker's house which made me stop in my tracks, unsure of myself. Elijah slipped his cool hand into mine, interlocking his fingers with my own and led the way. I was so grateful for his presence right then.
I didn't bother knocking, I just headed straight inside.
Five faces all turned simultaneously to us as we entered the room. Mr and Mrs Parker looked devastated and I immediately expected the worst. Tom was sat on the sofa, his elbows resting on his knees which were trembling up and down. Only the police remained calm and composed.
A woman with dark blonde hair and solemn gray eyes spoke: 'Are you Elijah and Isobel?'
I merely nodded.
'You'd better take a seat,' she told me gravely. I sat down next to Tom, giving him a one armed hug. Elijah never let go of my hand as he took a seat next to me. We all stared up at the policewoman expectantly.
'At around 4.00pm there was an attempted bank robbery at Westminster Bank. We can report that there's been one known death,' the policewoman began and I gasped, a sharp intake of breath. 'The body hasn't been identified yet, but it is known it wasn't your friend Christina. However, the robber did take Christina hostage to an unknown destination.'
There was silence as this sank in.
Elijah was the one who spoke first. 'Is there anyway to find her?'
'Luckily we can track her via her mobile phone - that is if she still has it on her.' She turned to Tom, who was shaking beneath my arm. Her voice was a lot softer as she asked him: 'Do you remember if she still has her phone?'
'Y-Yes,' he stuttered. 'I remember.'
'What if the robber has destroyed it?' I exclaimed.
'Then we will find some other way to find her, mobile phone tracking would be the safest bet though. However, we have men working round the clock trying to find the destination of this hideout, you can guarantee our best men are on the job.'
'See?' Mrs Parker hugged her son fiercely. 'They will find her.'
This is all they need, I thought to myself. The pain and anxiety I was feeling must be nothing compared to the Parker's. They had just lost their daughter in the same week that Tom had lost his love. No. Not permanently lost. Temporarily misplaced? My mind offered. I wasn't with it. I wasn't thinking straight. The walls felt too close, too caved in. I needed fresh air.
I stood up.
'I'll be back in a minute, I need to breathe.'
'I'll come with you,' Elijah followed me into the Parker's garden. It was just approaching twilight, the hazy blue sky allowed the dark silhouettes of the buildings to stand against it, bold and unafraid. I wished I could feel like that.
'What are we going to do?' I whispered, tears pricking at my eyes. Now that I was away, my carefully composed exterior was threatening to collapse, now that it was just me and Elijah. I didn't have to pretend anymore. I could be myself around him. Sure enough, tears had fallen, my cheeks were moist and I was silently shaking.
Elijah enveloped me in a warm hug and I rested my head against his chest. He didn't say anything, he just stroked my hair. But it was enough.