At school the next day, even Marnie noticed the distinct absence of Lync.
"Where's you're boyfriend?" She said, an irritating smirk on her face. I dragged her into a secluded corner and told her the whole of yesterday's events. "Man. I'm feeling sorry for you right now. I mean, you get the boy of your dreams and the very next day he goes A.W.O.L..." I just nodded, far too upset to formulate a proper reply.
The day passed in a haze, along with the next few days, until, on monday morning, in assembly:
"Everyone, silence please. We have some official visitors today." The head said, beckoning in two tall police officers.
"Some of you may have noticed the absence of one of your fellow students as of last Wednesday." The first police officer started. He was black, and well built with short-cropped black hair. Marnie was staring at him, practically drooling.
"Uh, Marnie," I hissed. "Close your mouth. You're going to catch some flies in there if you aren't careful!" She closed her mouth quickly, going beetroot red. Meanwhile, the hot police officer had more to say:
"Lync Summers has been missing since five 'o' clock on Tuesday, when he was last seen leaving a news agents, carrying a chocolate bar and a large rucksack, wearing some jeans and a raincoat. There was a sleeping bag strapped to the bottom of his rucksack." Recited the policeman, reading from a small notebook.
"If anyone knows anything about where this boy could be, we urge you to tell your teachers, or your parents, or just come straight to us, the police. Thank you for listening." Said the second policeman, a stocky white guy with long, dirty blonde hair.
Marnie nudged me, hard. Jake Tomlinson had his hand up. He had been friends with Lync.
"Yes, Jake?" The head said, obviously curious.
"He said he was runnin' on Tuesday before school. He telled all of us how he'd ran of like, loads of times before. He said he always kept to the alleys." Jake blurted, then immediately went red and sat down, ashamed, realising he'd betrayed his friend.
Quietly, to myself, I thought: To the Alleys it is...