Friday, September 7, 2012; 8:29 PM
~10~ (Friday, September 7, 2012; 8:29 PM)
“I’m Cynthia Barker, reporting live from McNally Park.” The reporter said into the camera. “Here, over a hundred people have come together to pray for the safe return of missing Sydney teen. The sixteen-year-old, Luke Hemmings, went missing from his high school earlier this week. The full story about the disappearance can be found on our website…”
Among all the emotions I was feeling, gratitude and humility were added. I couldn’t believe that all these people had shown up in support.
There was a line of candles in the park, along with pictures of Luke. There was a makeshift podium where the Reverend was saying a prayer. Most of us were holding candles as he prayed.
“We come to you, oh Lord,” the Revered prayed, “To ask you that you may return the missing boy safely back to his family.”
After the prayer, I saw Luke’s friends, Calum and Michael, standing by a picture of Luke that had them in it.
“Hey.” I said to them as I approached.
“Hey.” The said back.
“I really appreciate that you came here tonight.” I said to them. “Luke would’ve been really glad to know that you were here.”
I then realized that what I said made it seem like he’s dead. “And I’m sure Luke will be really happy to hear that you came, when he gets back.” I corrected.
“How have you been?” A guy I’ve never seen before asked me, but was standing next to Calum and Michael.
“I’m managing.” I said. I looked at him, trying to place him. He didn’t look like he was Luke, Calum and Michael’s age, he looked like he was my age.
“Jack, this is Ashton.” Calum clarified. “He is in the band with us and Luke.”
“Nice to meet you.” I said, trying to smile.
“Is Luke’s…your mom here?” Calum asked.
“No,” I said, “She wasn’t able to make it. She isn’t feeling very well.”
“How has college been going for you?” Michael asked me.
“It’s okay.” I answered. “Professors are really good at working with me through this time and giving me extensions on due dates. So, they’ve been really helpful through this. How is school for you guys?”
“It’s awful.” Michael confessed. “Everyone always stares at us.”
“I know how that feels.” I empathized.