Will I see you again?” Sophie asked the good one, the one who had rescued her and Ella. It was so weird. He looked exactly like the man, well…men, actually, who had kidnapped her. But somehow, she knew she could trust this one.
He gave her a little hug, then stood up.
“Wait!” Sophie cried. “Don’t go! If you leave…”
He looked at her curiously. “What happens if I leave?”
“It all goes away,” she whispered.
She reached out for him, but suddenly he was out of reach.
“No!” she cried. Tears filled her eyes as he suddenly seemed to recede, getting smaller and smaller in the distance.
She bolted upright in bed.
“Sophie,” a voice called. “Are you all right?”
The hall light outside her room flicked on and a silhouette appeared at her door.
“I’m fine, Mom,” Sophie sniffled.
Her mom glided into the room. She sat gently on the side of Sophie’s bed and gathered her daughter into her arms.
“Bad dream, love?”
Sophie buried her face into her mother’s shoulder, nodding.
“The same one? With the policeman?”
Sophie nodded again.
Her mom rubbed her back.
“Everything okay?” Sophie’s dad appeared at the door.
“Fine,” Mom said. “The dream about the policeman again.”
Sophie’s dad shook his head. “We didn’t really even meet the man. Did you talk to Ella’s mom?”
Mom nodded. “The occasional nightmare, but nothing specific like this. And Ella has never said anything about a policeman.”
“I don’t understand,” Dad muttered. “Unless…”
“Unless what?” Mom asked.
“Unless he actually was involved.”
“No!” Sophie jerked her head up and glared at her dad. “I told you! He didn’t have anything to do with it! He…”
“He what, Sophie?”
Sophie’s mom was smart, and her daughter hated not telling the whole truth. But it was so important that Sophie not say how she had met Detective Becker.
“Nothing. It’s okay, Mom.” She disentangled herself from her mother’s arms. “Sorry to wake everyone up.”
“It’s okay, dear,” her mom said. “Do you want me to stay with you a while?”
Sophie shook her head.
“All right then. Call if you need anything.”
“I will, Mom. G’night, Dad.”
“Good night, squirt.”
Sophie settled back into the covers and closed her eyes.
“I don’t understand,” her father whispered, not realizing how sharp his daughter’s hearing was. “Why the detective?”
“The therapist said it might have something to do with him dying right after the kidnapping,” her mom said.
Their footsteps faded as they padded down the hall to their room, but even had they still been near, Sophie’s parents would not have been able to hear her fierce whisper.
“That’s not what happened. He didn’t die! This is all wrong.”
Why doesn’t anyone else remember?