A couple of weeks ago, Tucker didn’t call and as the minutes ticked by, my calls to him went unanswered.
Tucker also switches his phone to silent when he’s in class and usually sticks his phone in his bag so missing a call from me happens occasionally.
Mind you, I didn’t freak out at first.
But as it got later and later, I started thinking about all of the things that might have happened and I went from being pissed off at him not being home at his regular time to me being scared as hell about wrecks and no one knowing who to call.
The kids and I had bought cupcakes earlier in the day and I wouldn’t let the kids eat their cupcakes until Tucker got home. I started to wonder if they would always associate cupcakes with the night their father was killed in a car crash and let the kids eat their desert before dinner since I refused to let myself dwell on that horrible thought.
I started with the base police but ran into an issue of not knowing where he works since he just started one of the Army’s internship programs. The woman at the base was extremely kind and understanding and assured me there had been no accidents on base.
Next I tried the city’s police department.
The dude there was an asshole and I suspect my frantic call wasn’t the first the guy had heard. I’m sure he thought Tucker was out with his girlfriend.
I tried the city’s main hospital and was told there were two new patients in the emergency room but they were due to a car-bike collision; I dismissed that one. I called Tucker’s folks and by that point was close to hysterical. I kept trying to make sure the kids didn’t see the tears rolling down my cheeks. Cara and Ollie didn’t seem upset or nervous and were quite happy with the cupcakes and I wanted to keep it that way for as long as I could.
Finally, after I finally admitted to myself that something was seriously wrong and I had dug through all of Tucker’s school paperwork hoping to find contact numbers for the folks in Tucker’s intern program, my phone rang and it was Tucker. He tried to apologize and all I could do was scream into the phone, hang up on him and fling my phone at the wall.
Come to find out, Tucker had been talking to his instructor about the possibility of landing a prime assignment for when he completed the school work portion of the class and his phone–still on silent–was in his bag while Tucker was in another room. He hadn’t heard his phone and when he finally found the phone, he was met with about a billion missed calls.
I cried and he looked like he might start too and I apologized for crying but I couldn’t stop. In my life, I’ve never been so scared and felt so powerless. So hopeless.
But he’s not dead and for that I’m very glad.