It’s time for you to step up to the plate and return Ayla Reynolds.

You know who you are.

And while we do not — yet — we will.

We don’t know a lot about why this pretty little blue-eyed girl disappeared from her Violette Avenue home, but we do know this:

She didn’t wander off by herself. You carried her out of the house that night and put her in a vehicle or walked her to another location. What happened after that is anybody’s guess.

I’m trying to place myself in your shoes right now.

Do you go about your business each day, scared you will be discovered? Do you sleep well at night?

Are you haunted by what you’ve done?

Do you think that as more time passes you are less likely to be found out?

If so, you might want to reconsider.

The authorities are working hard on this case, make no mistake about it. We may not be hearing much from them right now, but they’ve got some ducks lined up and are waiting for just the right moment to reveal them.

They haven’t forgotten Ayla and neither have we.

We are her neighbors in this city we call home. In a sense, she belongs to all of us. We think about her all the time. She is the first person we think about when we wake up in the morning; her face is the last thing we see before we go to sleep at night.

We hurt for her family and friends. We will not rest until we know the truth.

It has been too long — six weeks since you took her.

It’s time to bring her back; time to tell us what you did with her, time to fess up.

Why wait until the police come for you?

You can save yourself further stress by coming forward now.

Clear your conscience, if you have one.

I think you do.

My guess is that you lie awake at night, wishing this were not so, that this had not happened.

I ask you to reach deep inside to the good and decent part of you that wants to do the right thing.

Come forward. Tell us what happened.

I know that you have been watching the daily news coverage and reading about Ayla and the people trying to find her.

I know you are reading this now.

At noon today, a vigil for Ayla is being held in Castonguay Square in downtown Waterville.

Ayla’s family and friends will be there, praying she be returned to them.

She belongs to them, not to you. She belongs to all of us.

I ask that you go to this vigil to see the faces, hear the voices. You may have attended previous vigils, but this one will be different.

When I look into your eyes, I’ll know who you are.

I suggest that, with every moral fiber of your being, you come clean.

It will be easy. You simply walk to the police station in City Hall, right next to Castonguay Square, and turn yourself in.

End the nightmare for you and for all of us.

It’s time.

Amy Calder has been a Morning Sentinel reporter 24 years. Her column appears here Saturdays. She may be reached at [email protected]

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