Weeks of Weak Nights
Days are getting to be weeks now, and weeks are almost a month. I feel let down by everyone around me, and I let my Sammy down, too. I even had a psychic come in and borrow a photo of her. He thought her spirit would call out to him and give him a clue about where she was and what was happening to her – if anything was, or even if she were still alive.
Darn it all, she WAS alive. She just HAD to be. I refuse to think otherwise for a moment….if I can think at all…straight, that is.
As if my heart couldn’t be ripped apart enough, on a Saturday, I drove up into a nearby park. I got out of the car and saw a bench and my eyes were getting heavier the minute I sat down. All the stress and strain and searching were beginning to take their toll. For some odd reason, I thought I heard a children’s choir and looked around to see where the singing was coming from, and sure-as-shootin’, there they were.
A teacher, or some grown-up was conducting them. It was weird that they were doing this in a park, but I didn’t think anything of it. I watched them for another minute or two and then I saw a girl with blonde hair and clothes that looked like hers. I couldn’t see her face very well, so I leapt up and ran over to the group to get a better look. It was Sammy – I KNOW it was! I grabbed her and started to hug her when the teacher shouted at me about what I thought I was doing. I realized it was the wrong girl and I apologized profusely. The lady ordered me to get away from her girls or else she’d call the cops.
“But my daughter’s missing! I thought it was her! My Sammy is GONE!”
I think I was, too. Next thing I knew I was back on the bench. I opened my eyes and shouted Sammy’s name. Looking around, I could sort of tell I was just dreaming. There was no group of children singing that I could see anywhere, for real. I was relieved. I thought I made a giant fool of myself, but I didn’t. I was not getting yelled at and threatened by a teacher, and I wasn’t scaring any children. Thank God, but there was one scared little girl somewhere, and that was my Sammy.
Back to reality at last, I was watching a bunch of kids playing softball. As much as I love my game, I couldn’t even care less about that right now, but I was glad the kids were enjoying themselves. Then I realized nothing was getting accomplished here, so I got up and was on my way back to the car to go at it again when I saw one of the neighborhood kids. He was a little guy whose big sister is a friend of Sammy’s. He asked if I was her dad and I smiled and said I am, then he looked up at me with saucer eyes and asked when she’s coming home, because he misses her. I got down on my knee so we were eye to eye.
I rubbed his head and said, “I don’t know, slugger. I miss her, too”
He said “don’t tell my sister this, but I love Sammy and I wanna marry her.”
That was the last straw. I couldn’t keep my composure any longer. I made a guttural moan and put my head in my hand, sobbing uncontrollably, and it was getting louder, too.
“Don’t cry, mister. She’ll be okay.”
Then I thought I heard his voice change to a girl’s voice and it was on reverb. “It’s okay. I’m okay, daddy.” I looked up and no one was there. Was I dreaming again?
Could I have fallen asleep on one knee? With that asphalt scraping the skin on my knee?