Sunday, August 30, 2015

We Were Once All Commuters: Chapter 7

The boys woke up early the next morning after falling asleep, exhausted on the the beach.  Their parents sat home wondering where they could be.  Laddy's mom sat up all night looking out the bay window in the front of the house while Jake's mom and dad exchanged epithets about who was at fault for teaching Jake how to disrespect the rules.

As the hours passed by, the boys' parents agreed to call the police and ask for help in locating the two boys.  The police didn't seem too worried.  "Boys will be boys," the officer said, "sometimes teenagers feel free and just go rogue."

Laddy's mom didn't like what the officer said.  She yelled at the officer, "How can you be so flippant!  Laddy and Jake are our boys.  We want them home safe, where they belong."

"Ma'am," the officer stammered, "you're right.  I apologize, but you need to know that these boys do not fit the runaway profile and its highly unlikely that they were abducted.  They prob...."

Laddy's mom emotionally interrupted the officer, "Unlikely!  Unlikely, you say?  Don't be so dismissive.  You have no idea what could be wrong..  Please do not treat my child as any less important than other children who may have grown up in lesser neighborhood or were left unattended while in a crowded area.  Just go!  Please go and find them," she said in exasperation.

"Yes, ma'am.  We will get right on it."  The officer turned and left the residence for his cruiser.

The two boys had never been in any serious trouble and had always minded themselves when out and about playing or riding their bikes around town.  The officer who arrived at the home of Laddy took the report and requested an APB, all points bulletin, for all officers on the street to keep an eye out for Laddy and Jake.  A description of the boys and their bicycles were sent out over the wire.
A buzz of despair hit the neighborhood.

Missing children sends chills down every one's spine. Its an eerie feeling to grab a carton of milk in the morning and to be spied upon from its side by a child who may be suffering although, more often than not, the child is fine; possibly with a separated or estranged parent or at a friends home due to poor communication.

Looking for children can be like looking for a lost set of keys before church on Sunday morning.  Time is flying.  Mass begins in 20 minutes and it may take 10 minutes to get to the church.  Panic sets in as you start yelling at the kids and your spouse to look harder or to be quiet.  All the while you know being calm is the only solution to solving the problem.  Finally, you throw in the towel and grab the spare set and just make it to Mass only to uncomfortably stand in the back of the church. A few hours later, BOOM, the keys are discovered under the recliner.  Its then that you realize that the keys had fallen out of your pocket when you sat down to watch your favorite television show.

 But this was Laddy and Jake.  These boys are always linked at the hip, never to be apart.  Where you find one, you discover the other.

That's kind of what happened with Laddy and Jake.  The two boys woke up on the beach, sand in their hair, in their damp shirts and shorts.  Like their parents who panicked late last night by calling the police, the boys panicked too.

Jake was the first to jump up from his slumber and realize the sun was bright; it must have been about 7am.  He shouted, "Laddy! We gotta get home." Jake kicked Laddy's shoulder.  Laddy stirred and realized at that moment, "Shit, we need to get outta here."

Laddy and Jake scrambled to their bikes and headed for the bridges then their homes on the other side of the bay.  The boys pedaled as if they raced the Tour De France.  Unlike the ride over the bridges to the lighthouse and the beach, this ride was quick and uneventful.  There were no cars or trucks speeding passed them and the air was still which meant no head wind.

Jake turned onto his street and Laddy continued on to his house.  Neither boy said a word.  They knew their parents would be angry.  Even Jake, who's parents seem to take a l'aissez fair approach to parenting, seemed a bit on edge as he rolled into his driveway.  He hoped his absence had gone unnoticed, and he may be able to slip back into his room, wake up, and stumble into the kitchen for a slice of toast like any other morning.  But today was unlike most mornings.  The driveway bustled with parents, siblings, and a few police officers.  All had that Mona Lisa look as Jake rolled up.

The first person to speak was Jake's mom.  She said in a gleeful yet stern voice, "Thank God you are home."  Jake looked at his mother and and a tear dropped from the corner of his eye.  He saw his mother, and he thought of the beautiful woman in blue on the beach who brought him back from the brink.  He loved her, and now realized how much he loved his mother.  He jumped off his bike, which crashed to the ground, and threw his arms around his mom.  He just held her tight; hoping never to be away from her again.

She pulled Jake close and kissed the top of his head, assuring Jake, "Everything will be ok."

All was well for Jake, not perfect, but better.  His mom and dad were home more often and started to ride bikes too.  The three of them would ride around the neighborhood; sometimes Laddy would bike along with them.  The two boys grew closer together after the beach incident; however, Jake and Laddy never shared the story about the beautiful lady and the wave that threatened Jake's life that summer's night.

See you on the road.