Destination: Pacific Coast

second entry

I was minding my own business, enjoying my wife, Clair's, enchiladas (I strongly recommend marrying a Latina). It was just me and her for once. The boys are older and both of them had practice of some sort or another. Or maybe one of them was spotting for cheerleading? I don't know, but I am pretty sure that whole scene started with a certain interest my son has in a particular girl. My sons have done the craziest, most out of character, hilarious things to get a girl's attention. One time one of them, I think it was Jacob, told me he was going to take up watercolours. I nearly spit up my coffee. His idea of art was slinging mud pies, or quite literally anything, at his unsuspecting little brother. I remember catching him one time; he looked me square in the face in attempt to alleviate the situation and said, "don't you think he looks better?" And I think my actual response was, "oh, you think that's a work of art? Right."

But I digress. It was all quite innocent really. A fork full of cheesy chicken deliciousness, after a long day at the shop, about to reach my mouth and my eye catches that universal signal from a wife. She put her fork down sideways on her plate and paused. It wasn't followed by her immediately getting up to grab herself an iced tea, so I knew something was up, but I confess, I pretended for a moment I didn't see it. Buffeted by historical recall, I admitted that I had no desire to meet the repercussions of ignoring her, so against my will entirely, I mimicked her move and asked, "what's up?" My mind started going through all the possible problems in the short silence that followed. Did I lock the cat indoors when I left? Nope. I don't think so (Lavender, the gray tabby, was happily circling my feet at that moment). Something wrong with the boys? No news is good news, I think. Or was she about to tell me something?

"When was the last time you talked to James?"

Deer in headlights. James? James...who? "Oh!" She was referring to one of my best friends from college, whom I hadn't spoken to in a year or more "about a year, I guess."

"Hmmm." Good grief, where was this going?

"Something wrong?" I really wanted there to be a quick end to this, the enchiladas were waiting and Lavender was growing less and less patient. She was now resorting to biting my heals. "Ouch, Lavender! For the love."

"I had a strange conversation at the ladies meeting today in church." What does this have to do with me? Or James? I remained engaged, nevertheless, a night on the couch or enchiladas, that was my choice.

"Hmmm," my turn, "about what?"

"About Kent."

That was a punch to the chest, "Oh." Who at church knew Kent?

"His Aunt goes to our church, Ross." Clair said it as if she was reading my thoughts and knew I had already become defensive. Last thing I wanted was for people to be talking about him who didn't know him, but was relieved to find out it was his Aunt. When did she start going to our church? Has it been years? Embarrassing.

"Is he alright? What did she say?"

"She said that he has gone off the map. Nobody knows where he is." I think I must have looked stunned, so Clair continued, "I said that I knew you didn't know where he was, but that maybe James knew....?"

I starred blankly at her and then shrugged with a deep and pain filled sigh.

"I think you should call him."

"Who?" met with a look of an unamused wife.

"Alright. I'll call James."


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