It had been too long since Kinsey saw her daughters face. The days all seemed to melt together, but perhaps it had been roughly two weeks. She would find herself wandering into Anna’s bedroom and straightening the sheets, checking for dirty clothes that weren’t there, and sometimes she would just lay on the bed and dream of her beautiful little girl.
Kinsey seemed to be living in the past now, going over and over the timeline of events from the very first phone call from Maxwell High’s attendance office. She could see her panic so clearly in her head that it seemed fresh again every time. Today was no different as Kinsey slowly opened the door at the end of the hall. Her heart was so heavy it felt like it was permanently lodged in her stomach. She walked over to Anna’s bed and climbed in. She closed her eyes and went back in time.
“This is Mrs. Denney at Maxwell High. I am calling from the attendance office. It seems Anna was not present for her first or second class this morning. If she is sick please call us back and let us know so we can mark her with an excused absence”.
“What?” Kinsey said to herself as she put her car back into park. She dialed her husband’s number, aggravated that he wouldn’t think to call and tell her Anna was still at home.
“Drew…next time you let our daughter stay home from school, you might want to consider letting the school know so I don’t get phone calls in between meetings”.
Things had not been well with them lately, and she could hear the anger in his voice when he responded. “I didn’t let her stay home, I walked out the door right before you did this morning, remember?” The question was accusatory, as if she should pay more attention to her family instead of her job. “Well if she isn’t with you,” Kinsey started, “then she is very much grounded”. Without saying good bye she hit the end button and decided to cancel the rest of her day and go home to figure out what her daughter was up to.
Kinsey pulled in the driveway and grabbed all her stuff. Hopefully she had something in her bag that she could work on from home. As she got to the front door she didn’t bother going for her keys, figuring the door would be unlocked. The first sign that something wasn’t quite right came when the door did not open from a simple turning of the handle.
Once she made it beyond the front door she was a little more panicked. She called for Anna, but there was no answer. She checked her room, checked the bathroom, and then she checked every other room in their house. Nothing. Something was very wrong, her daughter was gone.
This was the point where frantic phone calls started to happen. There were calls to her husband, calls to the school, and calls to every single friend of Anna’s that she could think of. When nothing turned up after two hours of searching Drew and Kinsey decided it was time to call the police. From there it was all a quick blur. There were officers everywhere, investigators asking questions, and still there was no trace.
“Kinsey…I think you should come out of there for a little while”. Drew spoke in a soft voice not wanting to startle his wife, who seemed to be in another world. He wanted so badly to hold her in his arms and wipe her tears away but he knew she would turn him away. Even in a crisis like this they still couldn’t be on the same team. He shut the door and moved on to his study. It was his only reprieve from this nightmare they were living through.
© Ashley M. Nee 2012