Tabitha never knew that days could be so long, with unending nights. How could she put into the words, the way that the tentacles of hope were loosening their grip on her.
At first they had been hanging onto her heart with a ferocious grip. The grip of a mother bear.
Jake was her explorer from the time that he was young. Finding new places to check out was a hobby of his. This river wasn’t new. He had been here many times over the years. Exploring was his passion, but he had favorite spots of his that he would return too on a regular basis. He often craved solitude and this river was the one place that he could find it.
Her hair blew in the wind. She picked up a scent. Closing her eyes, she went back to the last time she had seen Jake. He had been in a jolly mood that morning, joking with her over breakfast. The kitchen was filled with the aroma of Axe cologne. He was still learning the trick of knowing how much cologne to spray, so as not to overpower. But why? Why would he wear cologne if he had planned on going swimming in the river? Had he been trying to impress all the fish in the sea? It just didn’t make any sense.
10 days of fighting back tears, and then giving into them.
None of his friends had been with him on the last day that anyone saw him. He hadn’t shared any plans with anyone. But he was planning on going to his friend’s barbeque later that day, so it wasn’t like he had planned to go away. Steaks on the grill? Her boy with the empty pit, would not want to miss that!
10 days of poring over pictures of him from over the years as a way to feel his presence.
What had happened? How could Tabitha ever find rest if she never knew where her son had disappeared to? One day all was right with the world and the next day it was turned completely upside down!
Sighing she got to her feet. It was time to go home. Every day she came out here to try and clear her mind, hoping that watching the ripples in the water would calm her nerves.
Turning to go, she glanced once more at his shoes. Why hadn’t she took them home with her? It was like she couldn’t bring herself to touch them. She wanted them to be there for when he came back, for he would be back, he had to be!
What was that? Something silver caught her eye. It was in between the shoes. Confusion came over her. What would he be doing with a shiny cowbell?