Days of Daze
The next day, Day 2, turned into Day 5 in the blink of an eye. I made up leaflets with pictures of Sammy and her bike on it and posted them up in schools and supermarkets. I was even on the news, and neighbors and residents of other nearby communities offered to help in the search, an Amber Alert was created, we set up hotline for information.
I got a tip on the phone later that day. Someone had seen a white BMX bike leaning up against a tree in the next town over and was gonna stand guard until I got there.
I raced to the scene and saw a woman standing by a chain-link fence. I slammed on the brakes,jumped out of the car, didn’t bother locking it up and charged toward the scene of the bike. I came to a stop.
“You’re the one who called?”
The woman looked at me and smiled. “Yes. I figured I’d stand here and watch it until you came by.”
I grinned and nodded, “thank you for your call. You have no idea what a night I had.”
“My pleasure. You know, I saw you on the news and my heart was just broken. You looked so sad, yet determined.”
I grinned and nodded, “thank you, that’s very nice to hear and all, but where’s the bike you saw?”
She started rubbing my chest and gazing up at me and didn’t even talk about the bike, or my daughter.
“You’re even sexier in person. I recorded the broadcast on my DVR and watched it, like, 8 times.”
I started to blush, “aawww”, then looked down and scuffled my feet back and forth, chuckling, “I’ve been getting that a lot…” then I snapped to attention – “wait - what about the bike?”
“What? Oh yeah, right over here.”
I was so excited, but when I saw it, my face and my head fell faster than temperatures in Chicago on the first day of fall. I felt myself turn to jelly inside. I was up all night looking for my baby girl. I couldn’t think straight.
“It’s not the bike – it’s not” My voice broke as the words came out of my mouth, words I didn’t want to say. I tried to point out the difference between this and Sammy’s bike, like the color of the seat, but it just came out in hand gestures and stammering. The woman started rubbing my back, and the first woman’s touch I’d felt in over 10 years just broke me down further. I needed comforting and this was it. She turned me around and hugged me and I just started weeping. Guttural sounds came out of me. She took my glasses off so they wouldn’t get messed up. She was wiping my tears with her fingers and stroked the back of my head and reached up to kiss me – then I stepped back, pointed at her and confronted her. “You’re no caring resident from a neighboring community – you’re on a NEWS CRUISE!” I may be living in a small town now, but I’m from Chicago and we know all about this type of thing. Rock stars and actors aren’t the only ones with groupies – cops, firemen, news reporters and people they interview have them, too. They’re called “news cruisers”. I gritted my teeth and snarled, “you knew that wasn’t the right bike all along, didn’t you! You are not a nice person!”
I turned on my heels and walked off into the void. I knew I had a long hard road ahead of me. Now I was on a mission. I was more determined than ever now to find my daughter and bring her back home without help from anyone.
Now more than ever...
I am SuperDad.