“Reports are still coming in about the fight that broke out at last night’s basketball game in St. Louis. Witnesses are saying that what started out as a fistfight turned deadly when one of the assailants pulled out a gun. Police are still unable to confirm whether the fight was gang-related, but with several innocent bystanders dead and dozens more injured, everyone wants to know if this was just a fight that got out of hand, or if it was something more.”
Madison frowned as she turned up the volume on the television. She paused her morning routine to watch a few minutes of the coverage of her country’s latest horror. She shook her head in helpless disappointment, but didn’t do much else. It was horrible, but it didn’t change the fact that her cats needed to be fed and she needed to get herself off to work.
As she poured her coffee, she searched her mind for anyone she might know in St. Louis. Her sister had just moved there, but she wasn’t a basketball fan. In fact, the more Madison thought about it, the more she realized she couldn’t think of any friends or family she had who were basketball fans. Most of them preferred baseball, which, thank goodness, is just about the most peaceful sport there is – except maybe golf.
Madison turned off the television, bid her cats goodbye (they ignored her), and headed off to work.
Other than the occasional commiserating head shaking around the water cooler over last night’s events, it was a day much like any other until about mid-morning when her mother called.
“Madison! Have you heard from your sister?”
“What? No. Why?”
“I’ve been calling her all night and she’s not picking up. She won’t even respond to my texts. She always responds to texts right away.”
“Calm down. Maybe she lost her phone.”
“Stella lose her phone?”
“Or maybe it was stolen. I’m just saying anything could have happened. Stop being such a mom. You’re getting yourself all worked up over nothing.”
“I don’t call seven people dead and thirty injured nothing.”
“I’m sure she was nowhere near that.”
“She was. She told me yesterday that she was going.”
The world spun away from Madison. There was nothing for her to stand on or hold onto. “What?”
“Some guy she met down there had two tickets and wanted to take her. The things we do for men.”
Madison’s head spun as she tried to take it all in.
“I’ll call her.”
“That’s what I’m saying. She’s not answering her phone.”
“Maybe she’ll answer to me.”
Madison hung up and dialed her sister.
She had to answer. These things didn’t happen to them…