“Drive fast!” Alicia snapped when we were in the car.
Cecily Rose had been kidnapped. At least that’s what they thought had happened. She had gone missing from her bunk at Camp Grey Dove, probably when she crept out to pee at some point during the night. No one noticed her disappearance till early morning. The police had been called and were all over the camp, which was under lockdown.
I didn’t know what to say. It was a good two hour drive to Hunt, Texas and we were in peak traffic. I kept glancing over at Alicia who was huddled in her seat. At first she couldn’t stop talking, saying the same things over and over again, that they had taken her child, that this was a nightmare, that she would give her life to save Cecily Rose. To have her back in her arms.
Then she fell silent, sank into a daze, hopeless eyes staring hopelessly inward. That was almost worse than her panicked speech. I wanted to reach out and touch her, but knew better. Instead I kept my mind very carefully fixed on the road. I didn’t let myself think about Cecily Rose or what might have happened to her. I just focused on getting to our destination as fast as possible. Those two hours in the car were a blur.
There was a cop car parked at the entrance to the camp. We drove down a winding dirt road to the main building, where there were more cop cars and a lot of people milling around. “They’ll probably evacuate the camp,” Alicia said tonelessly. It was the first thing she’d said in the past hour. I felt sick to my stomach. So much tension had built up during the drive that all I wanted to do was get out of the car and scream. This couldn’t be happening, I kept telling myself. This was something that occurred on TV, not in real life.
We leaped out of the car. Alicia raced ahead, looking for Emil, who’d spent the past few nights at his Hill Country cabin working on his novel. When she saw him, she flew into his arms and held on as tight as a drowning person clinging to a raft.