...11:07 on the clock radio beside my bed. He's supposed to call between 11:15 and 11:30, when the movie's over, then come straight home.... better get the phone, and put it on the night stand so I can answer it quickly and not disturb Lori any more than necessary...
...11:47... dosed off for awhile...no call...walk to the bedroom window, make sure he didn't get home already and forget to call. No car. Open the window, strain to see the dark end of the driveway...could be parked there... no car. The night air is cooler now, was quite humid earlier. Open some more windows get, some cool breeze flowing...I'll sit in the chair by the window where I can see cars approach. Dial his cell phone...straight to voice mail...apparently phone off...seeds of suspicion now planted. We had a very overt, repetitious conversation at 8:30 when he left for a 9:15 movie...straight home after the movie...no side trips...no, you can't go to Tyler's sleepover...no resistance, complete agreement, anticipated complete compliance.
...12:09 on the phone's display screen....bedside clock a little fast, was within 10 or 15 minute margin of error, but no more. No math gets us to 12:09. 9:15 movie start, 10 minutes of previews and fluff, 2 hour movie, 10 minutes to exit and say goodbye to buddies, 15 minute drive puts him in the driveway before 12:00. Suspicions sprouting, that burning in the gut of fear and anger and powerlessness beginning to simmer. Should I go looking? Other than the movie theater I have no clue where to look. Call his cell again, fourth of fifth time, straight to voicemail.
.....12:20. Traffic thinning now out front, only occasional flicker of approaching headlights...I watch each car pass. Is this him? No, an SUV. Here comes one...too fast, he'd be slowing to turn into the driveway. Here he is...slowing...damn...next door neighbor, getting home from work, brief uptick of relief, now rage and panic rising. Hit the redial button, again...voicemail.
.....12:38. All the possibilities are bad. I've come to the tentative conclusion he did, in fact, go to Tyler's sleepover, and made the calculation to absorb my anger as a trade-off for hangin' out with his friends, and turned his phone off because he knew I'd call him and unload. Slow car...right size shape and color...nope, passed by. Beginning to rehearse the inevitable scene that's coming in my mind. Such a stunning defiance...hours ago we both appeared to be thinking the same, that those scenes, frequent of late, are horrific, and let's not have a new one, and trust is rebuilt one good decision at a time. I'm getting sleepy sitting here-I've been sitting here staring out the window almost an hour. I realize I'd be much angrier, or more nervous, if I wasn't sleepy-but my emotions are attenuated. I can't go to sleep. What if I wake up at 6:00 a.m. and there's still no car? But what do I do if I sit here until then? I have no plan. Wait...stew...speculate...replay.
...12:50. I've moved to the porch. The cool air has washed away some of the sleepy fog. The plastic, fake wicker chair is cool against the skin of my back and arms. I've turned it toward the street so as to see the flickering, dancing, headlight beams of approaching cars cut the darkness and assess from the sound and speed if it might be him. There's lots of stars visible in the slices of sky between treetops, and a streak of pale gray clouds against the charcoal background. Headlight...no, motorcycle. Redial. Voice mail.
....1:09...Sleepy again...how long do I sit here? Have to get up about 6:30, and it's after 1:00! Headlights...brake squeal...yes! It's him. Some relief...a range of possibilities, all terrible, is now dismissed...but I'm guessing I won't be back in my bed real soon...I've got a few questions first.
2nd Law Of Thermodynamics
10 months ago