Kristy was still in front of the mirror when the doorbell rang. Kristy glanced at the clock; was it 10:30 already? No, if that was Emily, she was five minutes early. Kristy grabbed her purse and moved quickly out of the bedroom and down the stairs. Sure enough, Emily was standing in the foyer, waiting on her friend. The girls exchanged greetings.
“Dad, I’m leaving now,” Kristy yelled.
“Have fun,” he father answered from the living room. Kristy guessed that he was still not finished with his paper.
“You’re early,” Kristy said as the girls walked down the path to Emily’s car. “You’re going to have to drive slowly; we don’t want to be there early.”
“Don’t worry,” Emily said. “I have to stop for gas pretty soon. Where’s the nearest station?”
“About two miles from here,” Kristy answered.
The girls got into the car and chatted as they left the subdivision. As Kristy had said, it was only about two miles to the store, and in no time they were pulling in to the nearly deserted gas station. One car sat by the far set of pumps, and another car that Kristy thought that she recognized was parked near the convenience store. A third car was parked around back, presumably the vehicle of whoever was inside right now.
Emily got out of the car to work the pump, and Kristy stared out the window at the other car pumping gas. It was a small car and not a nice one; in fact, it could definitely be classified as a junk yard special. The car obviously used to be a grey color, but the sun had bleached it a long time ago. The paint splotchy and the finish was bubbling. The hood of the car was an entirely different color than the rest of it. That was were Kristy had recognized it from; the kid two houses down from her owned a car like that. She remembered it because it seemed kind of out of place in the neighborhood that they lived in.
As Kristy watched, Caleb stepped out from where he had been standing behind the pump and replaced the nozzle. He walked toward the building as he pulled his wallet from his back pocket. Obviously he still paid for gas with cash instead of a card. Caleb walked past the car without showing any signs of recognizing Kristy; no surprise there, he probably didn’t even know who she was.
Kristy looked into the rearview mirror to make sure that her makeup still looked good. An ordinary person wouldn’t have been able to find any fault with it, yet she still dug through her purse for cosmetics and began to touch it up. She put the makeup away then glanced in the mirror one last time. A black van was parked next to the building. Odd that Kristy hadn’t seen it drive up. Of course, she had been rather absorbed in her looks.
Kristy was about to dismiss the van when the driver got out and began to walk toward the car. He wore a hoodie, making his features were indistinguishable. He approached Emily and began to talk to her. Kristy couldn’t hear what was being said, but from the motions that Emily was making, it looked like she was giving him directions. The man reached into his pocket, though Emily didn’t seem to notice. Kristy was starting to freak out now. She reached for her door handle and was just about to open it when the man gave a wave and walked back to the van.
The black van back out of its parking space and left the gas station. Kristy’s hand fell from the door handle and for the first time she noticed that her heart was pounding. That’s what she got for having an active imagination.