Chapter 6: Grief
Shawn lay on his bed, one arm beneath his head. The alarm went off for him to get up for work, but now he wondered why he even bothered setting it in the first place. He hadn’t slept a wink all night. His mind kept repeating the audio of his brother’s voice the night before:
“It’s partially your fault she’s missing. She wouldn’t have stormed out if you’d have listened to her instead of yelling. We were suppose to help her…God only knows what’s happened to her now.”
He had tried all night to reason with the thought and only came up with excuses for his own actions he knew were pointless. He had no reason for yelling at her—even if she knew she were wrong…but then again did she even know she was wrong? Or was it even her fault? Was she doing it to herself…or…was someone else?
It was a completely new thought for Shawn. Could it have been…?
“Oh God where did I go wrong,” He groaned covering his face.
Sheryl woke up beside Gwen.
She’d stayed up all night keeping watch and comforting her friend.
Gwen was the only ‘sister’ she had; the two always managed to look out for each other ever since they were small little children.
She was originally named Gwenivere Baxter by her parents—a name from her father’s favorite story: King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. He thought her to be a princess from the time she was born, though she never acted it.
The Baxters were neighbors and very good friends with Sheryl’s family, the Thomas’. How, Sheryl really wasn’t sure.
The girls grew up together until a fire at the Baxter’s printing company took both of Gwen’s parents when they were twelve. With no other place to go, Sheryl’s parents arranged to gain guardianship over the girl, after which the two became inseparable. Even in college they remained side by side helping each other to follow their passions—Sheryl working to become a writer, and Gwen becoming an artist in multiple mediums, though painting had become her favorite. They shared everything from clothes, to each others secrets, hopes, and pains.
Through all this there was only one thing that had managed to separate them—Gwen’s boyfriend Bryan.
Things were fine at first. His public status brought attention to Gwen’s art she might never have otherwise received. Eventually she was able to earn a gallery in the city museum Shawn worked. Her paintings sold for higher prices with every piece she created, but then something changed—Bryan changed.
His polite demeanor suddenly changed from sweetheart to abusive. He began threatening Gwen if she didn’t do as he said, and when she refused she paid the price for her disobedience. He beat her at first, here and there until he was doing it almost daily. Sheryl had begun to suspect the DA’s son for Gwen’s sudden drug addiction. She remembered the many times Gwen ran to her in tears afterwards if she didn’t find her passed out in the apartment soon after.
Added to that, Shawn’s attitude never helped much either. The night Gwen disappeared, she and Sheryl were going to plan her escape from Bryan, but that never happened.
The next day they found her apartment in shambles.
For now, Sheryl pondered what they would do when Gwen awoke.
Copyright The Faith Book 2011