I look down at my phone as I gather my things to go.
2 Missed calls
Both from her school. I race to the car, frantically pushing buttons to get to voicemail on the way. A ten-second message.
“Hi, Mom. Art Club got cancelled. Could you either call Grandma or come get me. I love you…bye.”
The shake in her voice as she holds on through those last four words turns my blood to ice; my heart races. I look at the clock on the dash:
I look at the time-stamp on the message:
I’m already dialing the school.
“No, she’s not here. Actually, I haven’t seen her. Hang on and I’ll do an all-call.”
What would she have done? I frantically scroll through the possibilities, now that the image of her sitting in the office is shattered, the morning’s Amber Alert all too fresh in my mind. She wouldn’t have tried to walk to Grandma’s, would she? Sat in the empty art room? Gone home with a…?
“I paged her, but no one is responding.”
You can’t tell me that in the thirty minutes since she called me, no one knows where she is!!!
“Wait, she’s in her classroom. I’ll transfer you.”
Her teacher’s voice comes on the line. I let out my breath. Of course she is with her teacher.
“Yeah, she’s just down here playing math games. Will you be here by 4?”
I look out the windshield for the first time since I left my school parking lot. Yes. Yes, I will be there by 4. Thank you.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
I’m participating in the ninth annual Slice of Life Story Challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Thank you for your feedback in the comments below. You are helping me to become a better writer and a better teacher of writers.