As soon as we made it to Jane’s room, I shut the door behind us, blocking out the sound of her father shouting. Blythe said very little, only quiet words of comfort, but nothing could calm him. Although, for once, I couldn’t really blame him. He had just lost his only child.
“This is not what I expected from Jane’s room,” Bobby said, looking around at the pale pink walls.
The bed in the center was the same four-post princess bed she’d always had, and fairy lights ran around the posts. She had a white vanity against one wall, covered in makeup. Her desk in the corner had a laptop and a few framed photos, but the rest of the décor felt very little girl.
“Her mom decorated the room right before she died, so Jane never really wanted to change it.” I gestured to the worn down princess lamp on her nightstand. The pink boa that’d been used as fringe had almost come off entirely.
“I see.” Bobby went over to the nightstand and picked up a picture. “Is this Jane with Justin Timberlake?”
“Yeah, she met him after a concert a couple years ago.” I went over to her desk and touched a picture of the two of us at a dance from our freshman year. My hair looked ridiculous because I’d let her do it.
“That’s pretty fancy.” He set the picture down and looked at me. “So… what are we doing here?”
“I don’t know.” I looked away from the pictures to survey the room. “I thought I might find something here.”
“Was Jane even living here before she died?” Bobby asked. “I mean, when she left rehab?”
“I think so.” I chewed the inside of my cheek, trying to remember what I’d read on the internet. I could go ask her parents, but from the sounds of Mr. Kress’s yelling, now wouldn’t be a good time.
“Why did she even leave rehab?” Bobby asked. “Didn’t she leave early?”
“Yeah, she did,” I nodded. “But I don’t know why. The last time I talked to her, she said she was working the program and doing good. Maybe she relapsed or something.”
“How can you relapse on vampire bites? It’s not like somebody could sneak it in or something.”
“I don’t know. She left while I was in Australia. I never should’ve went.” I shook my head and went over to her closet. She didn’t have one quite as big as mine, but she had shoved twice as many clothes in it. I opened the doors to find shoes and skirts jumping out at me.
“You think if you’d been here, she wouldn’t have left?” Bobby asked. I glanced back at him and saw him opening her nightstand drawer and rooting around in it.
“I don’t know.” I sifted through her clothes, but there were too many for me to really look at. Sighing, I turned around and looked back at Bobby. “The only thing I know is that I don’t know what happened to Jane.”
“Good news.” Bobby reached into her dresser drawer and pulled out a cell phone. “I think I’ve got her phone.”
“Holy shit.” I ran over and grabbed it from him. I clicked and touched it all over, but nothing happened. The screen stayed black. “What’s wrong with it? It won’t turn on.”
“Well, it’s been sitting in the drawer for at least two weeks, so the battery is probably dead,” Bobby pointed out.
I looked around her room and spotted the charger next to the desk. I plugged in the phone and sat down in the chair. By the time I got the damn thing on, my heart felt like it would beat out of my chest. Bobby stood behind me, looking at it over my shoulder.
She had a few missed calls stored up, most of them from people she used to party with, but three were from an unknown caller. She didn’t have voicemails, so that didn’t help, and I moved on to her text messages. Before the sixteenth of January, she’d received a couple messages, all from people I knew, but she hadn’t sent any out.
“Why wasn’t she replying to their texts?” Bobby asked, reading over my shoulder.
“She was in rehab until the sixteenth. She didn’t have her phone with her,” I said. “When she replied, that’s when she got out.”
The text messages from people she knew were all about going out or partying, and Jane hadn’t responded to any of them. The only messages she responded to were from an unknown caller, and those messages made my blood run cold.
Are you out yet? The unknown number had texted.
Who is this? Jane texted back.
You know who this is. I want you to meet me.
Where? Jane replied.
Outside of the gas station on 8th street.
I’ll be there soon. Jane texted.
I’ll be waiting.
And that was it. There were no more text messages in her phone.
“That’s it?” Bobby asked.
“That’s it.” I stood up, and he reached for the phone, so I handed it to him. “That gas station is only a few blocks from here. She must’ve been at home.”
“So she knew who it was?” Bobby played around on her phone, searching for more hidden messages or some clue that we didn’t see.
“Yeah.” I walked over to Jane’s window, realizing she’d willingly left to meet her killer, and she’d probably died a few blocks from her home. “Call it.”
“Call the number,” I turned back to Bobby. “Call and see who answers.”
“What if I don’t know who answers?” he asked.
“Then ask who it is. Just call the number and try to sound tough.”
“Okay?” He took a deep breath and hit the call button the phone. I watched him, barely able to breathe myself, and waited while he held the phone to his ear. His face fell and he shook his head. “We’re sorry. The number you have reached is no longer in service.”
“Dammit,” I groaned and looked back at the window. “She knew who it was. She left with them. And she got killed right down this street! And I have no idea-”
Then I saw something on the street corner, below her bedroom window. Something moved in the shadows, and I realized that the streetlight was out. All the other lights on the street were lit up fine, but the one outside of Jane’s room was out. It didn’t mean anything really. Vampires made sure the streetlight was always out outside of V, but a light going out didn’t mean anything in and of itself.
But I had this feeling. I couldn’t explain it exactly, but it was something inside my veins. Something almost tingly but painful too. As soon as I’d caught sight of something moving outside, I’d felt it.