“Another one” I said putting the phone down.
“It will be just another wild goose chase, you know that.” Margaret said.
She found it hard to leave the house these days, preferring to sit by a phone that hardly ever rang, and certainly never rang with the words she wanted to hear.
“Where?” she asked.
Our conversation from here on was an exchange that ran on auto pilot. I left the house a few minutes later to chase the goose.
One crack house is much like another. I sent another prayer thanking God that Margaret had stayed at home. Coming alone was hard but we had long gone past that point where the police are still giving over manpower to a lost cause. As parents you never give up, never.
The smell always hits first. A stench that I doubt will ever leave my memory. One day I may recognise it as the smell of my own despair, but now it only confirms that there is life here – if you can call it that. My hand confirms my only protection, shifting the cricket bat into a ready position as I chase the goose up the stairs, once again.
Like hell on a cold day I glance at my watch, my fingers never leaving that place on the neck that tells me that hope is being tempted, coaxed into reality.
He is here, the nightmare and the dream, and he’s breathing.
He is coming home.