January 18th, 2015

Missing

I'm back in the town where I grew up, driving down Avery Street. My Dad is in a car a little ways behind me, and I wait at the corner for him to catch up. Pretty soon we arrive home.

Stephanie - who has been missing for some time, it's unclear why - appears at the door. By this time our father is asleep. She talks about wanting to die. "Why do you want to die," I ask her, thinking maybe if I listen and understand, maybe I can help her to not want to die.

"I don't feel like I'm good at anything," she says. "If I died, would anybody miss me?"

There's a notebook in her hand, with a page full of her drawings and doodles. Wherever she's been, it seems she has been following current events, because her next story seems to be something about Mohammed. I think it is called "Mohammed and the Feather".

I want to talk to her, tell her how much I've missed her, but the words won't come. I just hold her little body in my arms and start sobbing until the tears come.


Then I wake up, and remember how long she's been gone, and that she's not coming back.