It was May or June of 1974. I was 16 years old. I lived with my sister in a small trailer park just outside of Maulden, South Carolina. I was her babysitter while she worked second shift at a cottonmill in Simpsonville. She rode to work with next-door neighbors who worked at the same plant. They would get home around midnight.
On this night, the 11 o'clock news came on and I began washing the dinner dishes. After doing the dishes I had taken the leftovers out to the back yard to feed the dogs. I divided the food up between the dogs and was watching to make sure the big dogs didn't take the puppies' food.
As I was standing there, a car pulled into the driveway of the trailer park. I thought it looked like the neighbor's car, but it was too early for it to be them. I watched as the car pulled into our driveway, and I could see from the light at the corner of the driveway that it was the neighbor's car. So I just thought they must have left work early for some reason. I thought it was odd that they stopped the car in our driveway instead of pulling into their driveway and parking the car.
I watched as my sister got out of the car and adjusted her sweater around her shoulders, reach and get her pocketbook, close the door and walk toward our front door. Then the neighbor's backed the car out and left. I wondered where they were going.
By this time the dogs had finished eating, so I went back inside. As I walked in I asked, "Why are you home early?" There was no answer. I called out her name. Still no answer. I walked through the house. Well, it was a three-bedroom mobile home, so there wasn't anywhere for her to go. I checked every room and my sister was not there. I walked back into the living room. The 11 o'clock news was still on.
I sat on the couch, confused and wondering what had just happened, wondering if my sister would be home at the normal time. They did pull into the driveway at the normal time. I watched through the screen door as they stopped the car, my sister got out adjusted her sweather around her shoulders, got her pocketbook, closed the door and walked toward the house. The neighbors backed the car out and left.
I opened the door for my sister. I asked her, "Where are they going?" She said they forgot to stop and get cigarettes. Then I told her what happened. She didn't say much. I don't think she believed me. I don't think I would have believed me either. I don't understand why it happened.