FC: He was just My Neighbor | By: Adriana Kelley
1: Rachel has struggled all her life with her daughter, Miranda, who's father died one year after she was born. Rachel has to work long hours to provide for Miranda and herself.She trues her very best to make her daughter as happy as possible. Miranda starts the 4th grade in a few weeks and Rachel is struggling to get her daughter to school. Rachel know it is very important for her daughter to get an education and needs her to get to school. There are no relatives around to help out, so she is stuck in a difficult situation. She used to have a nanny who helped get Miranda to school but she can no longer help. Rachel is hoping that someone is able to help her very soon.
2: There is no bus for Miranda to get on. Rachel is really stressing out now, but she notices a new neighbor moving in. She gives a welcoming wave and he gives a polite smile back. Rachel decides to walk over and talk to him. They engage in a nice and comfortable conversation. Todd comes across very nice and responsible. They begin talking about children and he explains that he does not have children and he works from his home. Rachel does not rush into asking him about taking Miranda to school because she must get to know him first and find out a little more about him.
3: Rachel invites Todd over to dinner one night. They talk about a lot of different things, from their favorite animal to what they want for Christmas. Miranda seems to really like Todd since she hasn't had a male influence in her life since she was born. Todd has been over for a really long time and decides he should probably get going. He thanks them very much for the dinner, closes the door behind him and swiftly walks across the street back to his house. Miranda begins telling her mother that she really likes Mr. Todd and that she wouldn't mind him taking her to school since she knows her mother is unable to. Rachel agrees with her daughter saying she likes him and that he seems like a very responsible person.
4: Rachel decides to ask Todd a couple of days later to take Miranda to school. He does not hesitate and says yes. "Thank you so much for doing this, you don't know how much I appreciate it" Rachel exclaims. "No problem at all" Todd replies. Miranda is very excited because she really likes Todd. Rachel knew it was a quick decision to trust him into taking responsibility for her child, but he was so quick to say yes. She had no reason to go and find someone else to take Miranda to and from school. He's just my neighbor, Rachel thinks to herself. What could go wrong?
5: It's the first day of school and Miranda cannot wait. She has her lunch packed with all her favorite snacks, a light pink backpack and she is ready to go. She sees a note that reads " I love you so much Miranda have a great first day." Todd drives calmly up to their house in his jet black, freshly cleaned BMW. Miranda climbs into the back seat of his car. "Good morning Mr. Todd!" she says happily. "Good morning to you too Miranda." Todd quickly responds.
6: Everything was going very well. Miranda was getting to school on time. She was brought home at the same time everyday. Rachel felt very happy and relaxed she knew Todd was reliable. Although, her relaxed mood changed quickly the next day. Miranda came home later than normal that day. Miranda told her mom "It's o.k. mommy, Mr. Todd took me to McDonald's to get an ice cream cone." "No Miranda, you come straight home after school, you do not go anywhere else." Rachel angrily told her daughter. She knew it seemed a little crazy to get so mad about going to McDonald's but she was not comfortable with that yet. She just wants Miranda to and from school, no stops.
7: Rachel calls Todd that night to tell him if they are going to get food to please tell her first. He does not say much but a simple o.k. Todd seemed unusually angry she would call him about that. Rachel hangs up the phone a tad confused, but she does not think much about it. The next day, Miranda waits by the door for Todd. He again swiftly drives up to their house in his- still freshly cleaned jet black BMW. This time the car ride to school is silent. Miranda doesn't quite understand what is going on, but still gives him a sweet "thank you."
8: It's the end of school, Miranda makes her way out front and waits for Todd to pick her up. She sees him, hops in his car and they drive off. Miranda notices that he is not going the usual way home. "Where are we going Mr. Todd, my mom told me we have to go straight home from now on." Miranda said nervously. "We're taking a different way today." Todd responds as he locks his car doors. Miranda starts to break down in tears because they have been driving for a while now and just wants to go home. Todd ignores the cries of the innocent 4th grader. Rachel is worried sick that Miranda is not home. She has called the school to ask if she was still there, all she got was an answering machine. She calls Todd, no answer.
9: Rachel calls again, this time Todd answers. Breathing heavily she says "Hello? Hello Todd are you there? Where is my daughter? Hello?" There is a silence for a few seconds. Todd finally replies, "You will never see Miranda again." Rachel's heart drops to the ground, her body feels numb. Her daughter is her world. She cannot catch her breath. Rachel quickly realizes she needs to call 911. " 911 what's your emergency." Stuttering and shaking Rachel answers, " Yes, my daughter, my daughter Miranda, she's, she's gone. My neighbor has kidnapped her." Rachel suddenly becomes light headed and can't understand why this is happening to her.
10: The police go searching for a man named Todd Smith. His cell phone was untraceable and his car was no where to be found. Rachel has cried every day since Miranda had gone missing. She prays all the time that the police have found her. She will not give up. Every night is a depressing and lonely night. She looks at old pictures of her and Miranda and ends up ruining them with all the tears that land on them. "What have I done to deserve this?" She thinks to herself. With the two people she loved most in her life were gone, she knew she could never be happy again.