My Boy By Ariel Perez
Part 1- The beginning of the end
That disgusting sinking feeling in my stomach began to bubble up acid and shock. The words rolled so easily off of the detectives tongue, smoothly but ending with a crash and a bang. He looked prepared, i can tell he's done this many times before. His face was stone. It was a full blow to the soul, "too much blood, no sign of him, amber alert, missing", and the last "I'm so sorry, we'll do what we can to find your boy". Words. Harsh and sharp to the touch words that felt heavy and hot in my mind. Radioactive thoughts that were never to be touched were pushing their way into my mind. I was trying to understand, trying to comprehend the horror that was now my crumbling life. Where was my little boy, where was my Kale?
He's always had such a curious mind, always asking questions with no answer, " mommy, if the sun is burning, is it hurting?". I tell him no, the sun was born of flames sweety, the sun is happy so he shines bright for all to see". He looks up at me with his big emerald eyes, ponders my quick to the draw answer and accepts it with a mile long smile. That smile, it could end wars. Where was that heart warming smile now? Was he calling my name, screaming for me to find him? The thoughts were heart breaking, mind bending, my baby was lost somewhere, hurting, and I cant help him. I feel myself falling away from the world but I'm falling apart on the floor while this detective waits for me to pull myself together again, if just for a second. How did I end up down here, when did I hit the hard cold floor.I couldn't even bare to stand up. I didn't know what to say. My hands were shaking and my mind was racing. I wanted to run outside and barge into every house, every building, every crevice had to be searched, he had to be ok. Gone. How can he just be gone.
He walked the same way from school every day, top of his 4th grade class, smartest little boy you'd meet. He knew not to talk to strangers, not to walk off the path back to his warm home, he knew not to wonder around, he cant just be gone. He has to be somewhere. They say someone took him, someone hurt my little boy..and i feel helpless. Like every nerve in me is becoming more and more lifeless as the seconds slowly but surely pass by. Was it possible for your heart to break, actually physically break with every beat inside you? I can feel my heart hurting, screaming in agony at the thought of my boy bleeding somewhere, crying, in pain as I was. I looked up at the detective with my water and mascara stained eyes, he looked back at me with eyes that said there's no hope. The detective helped me up onto my couch where Kales stuffed animals were resting. Their home, a stuffed home for his stuffed friends he says. He would hang a thin cover over the couch and camp out with them, telling his never ending adventures to his fury friends.
"We have about 200 people out searching neighborhoods, the forest, and the lake area. Hopefully we get civilian word through the amber alert. I promise to be on this case every step of the way ma'am."
I grabbed Kales stuffed lion and held on to it tight. And there it was, a rush of cool air as i squeezed the little animal, it smelled like my Kale. I took it in, and imagined him running back home, running into my arms so I could hold him, tell him its going to be ok now. That he needs to pick up his toys and do his homework. I stared out the window lost in my effortless thought, watching the driveway with hope. But it was empty.
"The lake..?" I ask him in a bit of confusion and horror. The lake. The dirty words floated around in my head followed by images of someone floating in the brown dank lake, only they weren't moving. A small pale body just barely breaking the surface of a man made hell hole. He can't. No. I tried to hold back the rush of hot tears, the inevitable gasping of air and the unintelligible words but it was no use, I was breaking. Everything around me felt like it was falling away again, like i was in some horrible nightmare that i could not wake from. I looked around at my once happy home, it seemed so foreign now, so lifeless. I pinched my arm a couple of times, to check if this unfolding horror story was real. The red marks signified that it was.
"is there anyone I can call for you? Any family you'd like to have here?"
"no" I say,"it's just me and Kale, it's always just been me and Kale.."
We were always on our own, just the two of us since he was born and his dad, if you could call him that, left us. Too much responsibility is what he saw when he looked at Kale. I saw something more, I saw life. A reason to try my hardest to achieve everything that I could in life. He's what fills my world.
I needed to find my boy. My Kale.