The same cascade of rain which felt so comforting in the night felt more like teardrops in the morning light. Words said. Decisions made. Somewhere along the way this strong, show-me, fiercely independent girl returned to a tenderness and a vulnerability that now brought stained cheeks and silent lips.
The text came. Was I coming?
I couldn't. I couldn't say goodbye... even if it was only a partial goodbye. One of those goodbyes you say in stages... sometimes never knowing when the last one is upon you... just knowing that the road is leading that direction. I texted back that I couldn't do it. I watched tail lights glow in the rain and slowly pull away... out of sight.
The buzz of the text came again. One word... an unfinished thought. I asked to know the rest.
Nothing. As minute built upon minute my heart quickened. My stomach knotted. What if something happened? A truck. A trailer. Wet, narrow, tightly curved roads. My fingers stumbled, "Are you ok?" The ticking of the clock brought no reply. I called. I texted. I called again. No answers.
"Boys, we need to go check. Get in the car."