It was a normal Friday night spent hanging out with friends. They ate, laughed, and had fun talking about the latest trends.
As everyone started taking pictures, she realized her phone was still in her backpack. "Hey, guys, I have to run to my car, but don't worry... I'll be right back."
It was early evening, so she had no worries as she walked all alone to her car. What she didn't realize, however, on this warm and sunny day, was that she was being watched from afar.
When she never returned, her friend went outside to check on her, looking all around. She called her name, checked inside her car, but she was nowhere to be found.
Something on the ground captured her attention, chilling her to the bone. There, on the pavement behind the abandoned car, was her best friend's cracked cell phone.
For months they looked for her, another missing teen, but they simply had no leads. All they knew was that they'd lost their friend, sister, and daughter, her face filling everyone's newsfeeds.
They wondered who would do such a thing in their small town, which was now filled with fear and dread. They wondered if she was hurting or in pain... if she was alive or if was she dead.
Then one day the sun shined brighter because she had miraculously been found. Yet, they still cried and wept with sadness, once they realized how badly she'd been bound.
For months she'd been exploited, passed around until she was finally bought. She was so tired and broken from the terror and abuse, yet, still, she relentlessly fought.
They got careless, assuming her weak, which allowed her to leave a clue. When the caring stranger found it and realized what was going on, the case suddenly had a new breakthrough.
They tell her she's lucky, lucky to be alive, but sometimes she think that's untrue. The nightmares, fear, and pain she still endures... even her therapist doesn't have a clue.
She may have been taken from everyone that day, but much more was taken from her. All she wishes is that she could go back in time and that things would be like they were.
Now she lives in fear, every glance a potential threat. What happened to her is tragic, something they'll never, ever, forget.
It changed them all forever, yet they still try to live every day anew. It's sad and scary to think about, knowing it could happen to me... it could happen to you.
Never make assumptions because you live in a small town. Never make assumptions because the sun has yet to go down.
Evil lives in the daylight, just as it lives in the night. It resides in big cities and small, not caring if it's a weekday or weeknight.
We should all unite as one, eyes wide open and aware, since no girl should be a pawn. It can happen to anyone--your best friend, sister, or daughter--you could be the next one gone.