Sara was a girl in my class, about a year older than me and pretty popular - she always hung out with her friends and didn't really have much time for me at all: I tried several times to get her attention but she either ignored me or gave me a passing smile before wandering off.
I used to get so pissed off at her, I wanted so bad to ask her out on a date but she never gave me the chance - my friends said I should have just went over to her when she was with her friends but I was always too nervous, I mean what if she said no?
Eventually I decided to pick up my courage and ask her out regardless - unfortunately that was when Sara stopped coming to class... her friends all said she was sick or something, this went on for several days until a lot of people began to forget about her.
I wasn't one of those people, I really missed Sara but couldn't very well do anything about it - I didn't know where she lived or anything.. all I could do was wait and hope she would come to class.
Days soon turned into weeks and her friends continued the same old story of her being sick, no one else knew much else and my own friends were telling me to stop obsessing over it.
They were right, of course, it wasn't really healthy to be getting myself all worked up like that - yet try as I might I just couldn't get Sara out of my head.
One day after school I stayed behind, watching as the other kids disappeared - it was then I noticed some of Sara's friends heading off to the right of the schoolyard, which was funny as the exit was in the other direction.
Curious, I decided to follow - watching as they slipped through a small hole in a nearby fence, leading to the woods surrounding the school.
Somewhat foolishly I continued to follow the girls as they went deeper into the woods, making sure to stay hidden - it was then I found out what had happened to Sara.
The girls came to a small clearing, glancing over from my hiding spot I could see a figure tied to a nearby tree - skinny and malnourished but still alive, to my horror I soon recognized the figure as Sara: her body covered in bruises and cuts as her dirty clothes stuck to her shivering body.
The girls chattered to one another in a strange language I couldn't understand, definitely not human - more like a series of clicks and whistles: one of the girls digging into her bag and taking out a rather rotten looking sandwich which she passed to one of the other girls.
The girl proceeded to make more clicking sounds as she went over to Sara, rotten sandwich in one hand, stretching her arm out before forcing the sandwich into Sara' mouth as she clearly struggled.
I could feel my heart racing as I fought the instinct to run, feeling a cold sweat running down my body as I began to panic - I knew I had to get help but who was going to believe me?
It was then I noticed the third girl suddenly jerk, as if becoming aware of something, before I could fully react the girl was right in front of me - a series of clicking and hissing sounds came from her lips before a sharp pain hit me and everything turned to black.
I awoke a few hours later in a hospital ward with minor head injuries - the doctors claimed I had taken a fall and cracked my skull but that I was going to be okay.. my thoughts raced back to Sara and the woods.. I considered telling the doctors or my family but thought better - they wouldn't believe me even if I tried.
I went back to class a couple of weeks later and to my surprise Sara was back, still hanging out with her friends - she even gave me a smile when she noticed me.
"Hey Steve.." Sara said, the first words she'd ever spoken to me - I stammered a little and said a weak hello back as she and her friends came over.
Not knowing what else to do I asked Sara if she was alright, she nodded and gave another smile as she said:
"..I'm fine, I was sick.. I feel much better now..".
After that everything went back to normal, except for me and Sara that is - every day Sara would come and talk to me, asking me how I was feeling: at first I was really happy to finally have the attention but after a while I began to get worried, it just didn't seem natural..
Sara even asked me if I'd like to walk her home after school one day, I agreed despite some hesitation and made for the exit only to have Sara motion me to the right of the schoolyard - towards the fence..
It was then my heart began to race again and I called it off, claiming I wasn't feel too great and rushed off.
Sara and I didn't really talk after that, she and her friends just watched me as I tried my best to move by - after school I always made sure to wait on my friends and head for the exit, Sara and her friends always seeming to be at the schoolyard, near the fence.. as if waiting for me to approach.
One day after getting home from a particularly stressful day at school I found a little note in my bag, which I must of left unattended during lunch or something - unfolding the note I read it, recognizing Sara's handwriting;
I guess you don't want to talk with me right now but I wanted to tell you it's okay..
You're sick Steve, like I was..
My friends will fix you..
That's what they do - they fix people who are sick.. they've done it for centuries..
First they have to break you, though..
Don't be scared Steve - we can wait until you're ready..
They broke me, Steve.. Now I'm better..
They'll break you too - when you're ready..
Then they'll fix you - like they fixed me..
See You Soon -
I just stared at the note for a good few minutes, trying to make sense of it before finally deciding Sara was crazy or something... trying my best to block out my memories of the woods... of the clicking and hissing...
I never did speak to Sara again after that and even to this day I make sure to have friends and family around when I go outside - just in case...