Sepia and I got in my car and drove to where Freda said she was stranded at....Sure enough, there was her car..Right on the corner of a neighborhood, about a block from Lincoln Drive...but no sign of her!
I got out...Looked around....Not a person in sight! It was 3:45 am in the morning....A car or two drove by.....The 2011 Blue Lexus was there...The door was open...The keys were still in the ignition...The radio was blasting and the lights were on....I tried to start the car and sure enough..
Just like Freda had said...It wouldn't start. In the cup holder was an un drank bottle of coke...There was an Essence magazine and a Black Hair magazine on the back seat and a Philadelphia Daily News from the day before.. No sign of Freda anywhere.
"Kevin...maybe she went to get help." said Sepia. I could hear the fear in her voice...There was a gas station a few blocks from here..I decided to go visit the gas station and ask them if they'd seen anything. We got back in my car and drove up to the gas station....It was closed...The pumps were self service...The kind where you insert cash ,debit or credit card and pump your own gas....The concession store was empty....It was eerily quiet around here...Too damn quiet for my tastes.
We drove back to the abandoned car....I dialed Freda's house number....Naturally it just kept ringing....Then I dialed her Blackberry number...It went straight to voicemail... Finally I looked at Sepia and shrugged my shoulders.
"There's nothing more we can do here...Let's go home babe....get some sleep...I'll call the police and maybe we'll come up here tomorrow and go door to door and search for her." I said.
"I just know somethin bad happened to her Kev...I just know it." said Sepia.
We went home... True to my word...I got up first thing the next morning and called Lt. Sissy Van Buren of Philadelphia Homicide...I told her that we were talking to her on the phone when we heard a scream and that that was that....Nothing. I told her that we found her car abandoned and opened..
"Usually , when an adult is reported missing..we have to wait 48 hours Kevin before we can move on anything....but I'm going to treat this like an abduction....I'll have my guys on this immediately." she said.
"Thanks Sissy." I said.
I immediately rounded up my guys... Sepia, Bernadette, Mabel, Victoria, Anita, Cora-beth, Sheila, Debbie, Delores, Rell and Cherry Johnson began circulating poster sized photos of Freda
around the entire area...
Meanwhile, Gus, Eddie, Albert,Sean Jackson, Peeping Tom, Lockpick Johnson, Big Nasty, Kool Kat, Clerow, Harry Charles and I went door to door asking if anybody heard or saw anything that time of the morning... Even Chess, Chris Thompson, Donald Smooth and his associates joined in the manhunt and search for the missing girl. Reed Nelson, Downtown Rob Brown, 88 and all of the musicians that play in Josies joined in too...After three days we had nothing.
Chance, Cherish, Blake and Paris did some door to door searches and questioning for me too on other nights... Still it turned up nothing. Clerow, Kool Kat and I drove by Freda's house with Lockpick Johnson...We tossed the place...Still no sign of her...It was as if Freda had dropped off of the face of the earth..
Sepia was an emotional wreck...When I got home, she and Bonita were sitting in the living room crying their eyes out...They looked at me with the hope that I'd found something, but my search turned up nothing....It had been almost a week now since Freda had vanished..
"Oh God Kevin....What could have happened to our friend?" asked a teary eyed Bonita.
"I don't know baby...damn if I know....this is the damndest thing...It just doesn't make sense." I said.
Sepia hugged me....
"Any news from the police?" she asked.
"No...I'm gonna check with them tomorrow." I said.
"Robert's coming by...He's going to take me home.." said Bonita...
"Okay....We got any coffee babes?" I asked.
"Yeah...There's a pot on the stove." said Sepia.
Just then...Her Blackberry went off.....
"Kevin...Bonita..it's Freda....It's Freda!!!!" exclaimed Sepia.
'What? Let me see that!" I said.
It was a text message...it read.
"Hi Sepia.....It's me...I'm fine...Had a little car trouble...I left town for a few days to get my head together...don't worry about me...I'll see you when I get back! tootles!"
"Oh my godddddd." said Sepia..
''Sepia....That's not Freda...Why would she leave town and leave an expensive vehicle like that Lexus just sitting there with the doors open and the radio on?? And if she left town...How? How did she get away from where she was? She hasn't been by her house...Kool Kat,Clerow and I were there...Not one thing is missing or out of order....No..this is a hoax...Somebody else sent that text." I said.
Just then Robert Foxworth came over....
''Hey counselor guess what? Freda just texted Sepia." I said.
"What? Where is she? Is she alright?" asked Robert.
"It wasn't Freda...I'm certain it's someone else.....Can a text message be traced?" I asked.
"Yeah....You can track it back to it's IP address. but I don't know if we can find a judge who will give us a warrant to tap that thing at this hour." he said.
"I don't have time to do it the legal way Robert." I said.
"Ohhhhh, got you...Your spook friend eh?" He laughed.
"Exactly!!..Girls...We'll take my car." I said.
Robert, Bonita, Sepia and I got in my car and sped off down the street...As we drove we saw Gordon Chesley standing on the corner, laughing with another one of our neighbors...
"Heyyy Kevin...Where you fellas goin in such a hurry?" he asked with a smile.
"I think I got a lead on where Freda Jordan might be." I said.
"Oh yeah?" he said...
"Yeah...I don't have time to talk now Gordy..." I said.
"Well,if anybody can find her, you can Kev." he said with a smile as he waved.
We arrived at Peeping Tom's house within an hour...
"Okay Kevin...I can do this..but I'm taking a risk....I can trace the ip number of the text message
and if I hit the tower of your provider, I can closely pinpoint just where this came from." he said.
"Modern technology, gotta love it." laughed Robert Foxworth.
It took him an hour....but he pinpointed the text message....He showed us a map.....
"That's Fairmount Park.....That's near the Zoo!" I said.
"Why would Freda be at the zoo?" said Bonita.
"She wouldn't be....Whoever sent this is trying to throw us off their trail." I said.
"And we aren't even on their trail." said Sepia.
(To Be Continued...)
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