I pulled up to the address and my jaw dropped. They weren't kidding when they said there was no way that someone could still live here.
Gerard sighed, “I told you. He isn't here. There is no way he could be.”
I took a deep breath, “We just have to keep looking, that's all.”
Gerard nodded, “Exactly, we'll find them. I know we will.”
I parked the car, “What was his exact address?” I asked.
Frank sighed, “It doesn't matter. It was burned to the ground...”
I shook my head, “What was it?”
Frank shook his head, “Apartment 12A.”
I climbed out of the car and, with the help of flags in the ground, found the apartment. There was nothing left. It was empty lot, for the most part. Except for the rubble, nothing else was there.
I looked around the rest of the empty lots and I felt tears fall down my face. I had the very real sensation that Nikki was there. Somewhere... It was like I could feel her presence all around me.
Something caught my attention about 10 yards away from where I was standing. I walked towards it slowly. As I got closer, it really felt like Nikki was right there...
When I saw what it was I shook my head. It was a window, probably to the storm shelter for the people living in the apartments. I was about to walk back to the car when I realized something. If all the buildings had burned down, there wouldn't be a glass in the window.
“Gerard! Frank! Come over here!” I called.
They ran over to me, “What?” Gerard asked.
I pointed to the window, “There's glass in that window.”
He nodded, “Yea, so?”
“If a fire destroyed the buildings, leaving nothing at all, there would have been more than enough heat to destroy that window. So, why is it still there?”
Frank nodded, “That's a good question...”
Gerard shook his head, “I know what you're thinking... but, she's not down there. That was added a few weeks after most everything had been cleared. The city was going to build new homes here, but then funding stopped, and they never finished. They finished one basement and have plenty more that are only half finished.”
I sighed, “But I can feel her. It's like she's standing right next to me...”
Frank put his hands on my shoulder, “I know, Jay. I feel the same way.”
Gerard nodded, “So do I... but, I feel her everywhere.”
I sighed, “We should go...”
Frank nodded and they followed me to my car.