2 - The Neighbour
Natalie had finished her breakfast and had no intention of speaking to her family, besides Tina was waiting for her in the living room. When Natalie got there Tina was layed down on the sofa fast asleep. She must have got up early to come knocking on my door at this kind of time, Natalie thought to herself. Their bus for college wasn't due till 7:30. The time was now 6:55 so it was ok to let Tina sleep awhile, she looked tired and Natalie would only feel guilty for waking her up so she decided to let her sleep it off for half an hour. She was just about to turn away when she noticed something unusual about Tina, her head was tilted to the right resting on the sofa, her body was layed on the sofa too, and her legs came off the sofa to let her feet touch the ground, it was quite obvious Tina had unintentionally fallen asleep. But something was wrong, Natalie was going to look closer for further inspection when she heard a voice behind her "Natalie have you got any spare socks?!" It was her little sister Elaine.
"No I don't there all in the wash, and keep it down will you Tina's sleeping" Natalie responded in a gentle but harsh tone to get her point across.
"I was only asking no need to shout at me!" Not wanting to argue as this would get the attention of her mother Natalie responded with a simple "Alright I'm sorry for shouting"
Her sister retreated back to her room, Natalie's hair was still wet from the shower, having being told by her mum that Tina was in the house made her hasty to not keep her waiting, but now she was sleeping Natalie could use the time for herself. She quickly dried her hair, got into some proper clothes, brushed her hair then went back downstairs, she glanced at her watch not wanting to miss the bus, it read 7:15. In the front room Tina was still sleeping, her body was motionless apart from her breathing. Natalie sat down to watch some television, but before she had a chance to pick up the remote she saw what had happened to Tina.
"Natalie?" Tina had woken up.
"Why are you staring at me?"
"Well, where's your fringe Tina?"
"hmm? Oh fucking hell" Tina replied upon remembering her fringe wasn't there any more "It erm, kind of wasn't there when I woke up this morning"
"What do you mean it wasn't there? Has someone cut it off?"
"I don't know, I thought it was Harry but from the way he acted when he saw me today I don't think it was"
"Ok, odd, so why are you at my house so early?"
"I had an argument with my dad and I couldn't be bothered to stay so I decided to come here instead"
"What?" Tina was getting confused, she had only just woken up and was being drowned in questions.
"The argument you had with your dad, what was it about?"
"Oh that, nothing, what time is it?"
"It's, oh shit its 7:28 we need to hurry!"
Natalie and Tina quickly picked up their bags and ran for the bus stop, by the time they got there it was 7:30 " We haven't missed the bus have we?" Natalie worryingly asked.
"I hope so, I don't want to go to college looking like this" Tina replied.
"Oh shut up Tina, you look fine, your just paranoid"
"No I'm not! I just look stupid without my fringe"
"Ok Tina" Natalie made an impression on her face to suggest she couldn't be bothered to argue and at the same time making it clear to Tina that she thinks she's being stupid.
Both the girls waited for a further fifteen minutes, Natalie was lucky to have kept Tina at the bus-stop this long, although most of the time was spent arguing about whether they should wait for the bus or not.
"Right well obviously the bus isn't coming or we've missed it, I'm going home" Tina said, she was looking for any excuse to stay at home instead of going to college.
"Wait Tina, I'll ask my mum to give us a lift, she isn't working today" Natalie said.
As soon as she said this Tina was searching for an excuse in her mind, none of them seemed good enough to get her out of this one.
Tina sighed, followed by "Alright, let's go get a lift from your mum then"
Natalie was surprised at this response, she was expecting an excuse of some kind from Tina, not an agreement. She got to the house and walked in, nothing could be heard from inside the house, shouting for her mum Natalie got no response, not even a "She's not here" from her dad or sister.
Telling Tina to wait in the hallway she ran upstairs and checked the master bedroom, nobody was there, the bed covers were ruffled up, which was strange, her parents had always made the bed up every day before they left the house. Maybe they just forgot this time; Natalie thought.
Maybe they were in the garden. She peered out the master bedroom window into the back garden, in the neighbours garden was a child playing with a dog, in her garden; nothing.
After checking her parents room she shouted downstairs "Tina, can you check the house please? There doesn't seem to be anyone up here or in the garden"
"Sure" Tina replied.
When Tina had walked off Natalie checked her own room, it looked just like she had left it. Next was her sisters room, nothing unusual here she told herself. She made her way to the bathroom, it looked just as she had left it after taking a shower. Natalie remembered Elaine going for a shower when Tina had been sleeping.
"There's nobody down here" Tina shouted from downstairs.
Natalie ran downstairs and checked the driveway, the car was still there. They always take the car to work, her mum wasn't supposed to be at work today, and she didn't have to unlock the front door to get into the house, they always lock the door when they go out.
"What the fuck?" Natalie said.