Then they drew back the sheet. I may have never been so relieved as I was at that moment. The body was not his. Maybe I shouldn’t say I’m relieved as it’s still someone’s son, but it wasn’t mine. This boy was blonde and skinny with blue eyes, my son had dark brown hair and pretty, green eyes and he wasn’t skin and bones as this one was. This only meant my boy was still missing. I hope he’s not harmed and pray he’s safe. “It’s not him.” I quoted as my face turned pale like I had been sick for days.
I was glad it wasn’t his dead body on that metal table, under that white sheet. But it made me sick that I still couldn’t squeeze my child. I couldn’t look into those emerald eyes and ruffle his hair when I walked past. After that moment passed, I was escorted out of the cold room. “We’ll find him” echoed a voice from behind, but I didn’t acknowledge the words. I felt sick, Numb. I walked right out of that building. I didn’t bother to grab my bag or to even go to my car, I just walked.
My gut curled in every direction, and soon my knees gave out and I fell to the clean white sidewalk. My hands dropped to my side with a single tear rolling down my pink cheek before I tasted the salty drop on my tongue. I’ve never felt so small before, so lonely. Perhaps if I had been home that night I could have still been in his presence.
I would have been able to have a suspect, some type of profile on the person but I don’t. I have nothing, not even the smallest fingerprint. I was frozen in disbelief, still sitting on the sidewalk of the empty street. People passed with impolite stares as if I weren’t supposed to be saddened by the loss. A minute passed before my eldest brother lifted me into a tight hug. I hadn’t even realized he had run over to me. It just shows really how disoriented I was from reality, but as soon as I snapped back I gave an effort for the hug wrapping my arms around him.
I wouldn’t bother with holding him tightly. I didn’t have the strength for it.
I practically wasn’t even hugging him, I was limp. This was only the beginning; it had only been just a week since he had been taken. Plucked from our home. But, that was just the problem a week without a single sign from him. A week without any hints, no new information, no signs, not a single one. All guesses were on the table. A blank table that is, and soon enough my small tears became a river, as I buried my face into my brother’s chest as we slowly rocked side to side. Chase had always been a great brother and of course the best uncle. In my mind, I knew he missed him as much as I did. He was practically the father figure to my child since my ex-husband had left months before I gave birth.
Twelve years of raising my boy alone with the help of my brother who was only around every six months due to being on active duty. But even those two visits every year made a significant impact but currently all that time meant nothing to me. Nothing at all. Before I knew it my brother had lifted me into his arms and walked me right back into that building out of the cold. I would rather freeze to death than spend more time in a building where my son could be brought in dead.
“ Sylvie, I promise you we will find him.” Sylvie was something my brother had always called me. It was just a “shorter” version of my full name, Sylvianna. Quite frankly I liked it much better than Sylvianna too. I hadn’t said much today which meant my reply wasn’t going to be much either. I gave something simple. “ We have to.” those had only been precisely the 6ths words I have spoken today.
I was now sitting on a chair next to me sat my brother. Our silence broke by agent za-ions erupting from the office where the rest of his crew sat. “we have new information Mrs. Callaway” he quoted but before he could finish I had already met him halfway.
My eyes were desperate for what he had to say. “ We had a person call in stating that they had spotted Cassian in the backseat of a black SUV. The person also said he was injured in the face and that when they looked him in the eyes... It looked like he was begging for help with silence.”
Begged in silence ‘shit’ i thought. Why did he have to be hurt? I’m failing my motherly duties. Why did I pick up that extra shift? But then I began to think before I could question myself further. How would this so-called spotter see Cassian’s eyes? Now, this may be a great assumption but most black cars have dark tinted windows for the sole purpose that no one can see inside. I desperately said “did you get the caller’s name?” and of course, he gave the answer I did not want to receive.
He stood silent for a moment before giving the said answer. “They didn’t say,″ Why?” not that this matters currently but I used to go to law school. And I desperately wanted to be a detective on an FBI team just like Mr. Za-ions is. But once I found out I was pregnant with Cassian at 22 I stopped all my classes and moved back to Kansas with my family. I knew exactly what to expect in a kidnapping case, probably more than this agent had ever known. I think this because I’ve always been smarter than most people. I let out an exhausted sigh before talking again. “Because a caller often turns out to be the kidnapper and/or someone else who knows what’s going on and wants to create a distraction,”
I say that now, but this kidnapper isn’t stupid something is off about what they do it’s something I haven’t ever seen before. This person was different. they were smart. Typically a criminal wanted to be chased so they would leave behind hints. That was only because they enjoyed the thrill of being made a face on national television for a dark reason. But this person was highly intelligent they somehow knew everything. They knew where our home was, my work shifts when Cassian got home from playing basketball with his friends.
Quite possibly everything we’ve done in our daily lives for matters of years, months, weeks. Did we have a stalker? I mean it’s very possible. We have a nice house and some wealth not to mention we are a well-known and loved family in the community. Maybe it was someone jealous of what we had? But I never rubbed it in a single person’s face ever, but then again we always had nice things. And as I’m waiting for a response from the agent I watched as he rubbed his stubbled chin like he was in deep thought.
“You are very correct Mrs. calla-” I cut him off there. “Call me Sylvie” I know it’s something my brother had always called me but I also knew that I was going to need to work with agent za-ions. Their team’s process was a little too slow for my mindset currently. Despite being lost in every way possible, my mind was still that of a wannabe detective. “Sylvie it is then’’ he quoted before hurriedly walking back to the office room to ask his team to track the call. I only knew exactly what the team’s next move was.
I went to college at the age of seventeen and only studied for five years to become a detective so it’s not like I’m smart or anything. Just highly educated on my own time. “Agent za-ions, if I may comment on this quickly”, I spoke as my life’s studies were taking over along with the motherly urge to get my child back into safety. I was now leaning in the doorway of his office as he and his crew looked at me.
“Of course, but come in first. It would be better for you to see our progress happen maybe it will help ease your nerves.” if he had known that I went to college for the same thing he did I’m sure he wouldn’t have said that knowing I know the whole process already. My brother was the only one who knew exactly what I went to college for obviously my family knew I was going to college but had never known what for. Maybe that would be something I mention later on. And before he even tells his team to track the call I stop him.
“I don’t think tracking the call is necessary, it’s not gonna get us anywhere. This person is smarter than meets the eye. Assuming that this caller is the person who took my son the phone they used has most likely been tossed.”
I gathered myself before walking fully into his office as I cleared my throat. “this person is playing a game.” yes, I know I’m not the professional here but I think my opinion is a lot better on my own child’s case. The odds of this specific suspect keeping the phone they used to possibly contact the authorities with was about as possible as pigs flying.