I should have known not to go.
But I was fourteen, and my best friend invited me to see a movie.
I went along, even though she picked a scary movie, and I hate scary movies.
I went along, even though it was about psycho killer stalking a baby-sitter.
The next week I got a call from a family—one of my regular baby-sitting gigs. They paid well and had good food. I liked the little girl, Rachel, except when she practiced her violin. I let those factors sway me.
Everything went well that night. No stranger called, no creepy breathing into the phone, no one asking, “Do you know where Rachel is?” She was with me, of course, watching re-runs of Love Boat with me in her parents’ bedroom. Everything went well until something went *crash* downstairs.
You know how in horror movies, how you get furious at someone who goes to investigate? Well, I didn’t investigate. I locked the bedroom door and called 911. When the police car arrived, I went downstairs to meet them. They looked around, but found nothing.
By the time the parents came home, we had fallen asleep in their bed. When the dad drove me home, I forgot to tell him about the 911 call. Or I was embarrassed. Or something else. I was a teenager. Give me a break.
The next day the dad called to chew me out. I’d forgotten that Rachel would tell them about the incident. They never asked me to baby-sit again.
But I didn’t mind.