Cassie felt helpless trembling naked in her own home, balked by the memory of her husband’s smile. She wanted to search for her baby so badly that her legs were walking her forward as her mind was forcing her back.
“Search first, then call the police if you can’t find him, if you can’t find Joseph,” she muttered, pacing the hall.
Already David had been edited out of the picture in her mind. There was no David for her anymore.
“No,” she said. “Get the police first.”
In the end she ran back to the kitchen, grabbed the phone and dialed for help. She searched the house on her own before they got there, barely taking the time to dress. David and Joseph were gone.
Cassie looked in places Joseph could not have fit and wouldn’t have had the wits at age ten months to try. Along the windowsill, under the bed, the hope chest, in the wastebaskets, in the bathtub. It was with an awful trepidation that Cassie forced herself to raise the lid on the commode and check. Then she took the tank lid off. She put it back,careful of its weight and its ability to break into a thousand tiny, sharp, dangerous pieces just as her soul had just done.
She searched outside the house. David’s car was gone. She raced back inside for her own car keys, fearful of the space in her car’s trunk, then of the area under the hood. She looked in the trashcan knocked on its side in the driveway. She looked everywhere. The police looked everywhere.
Photos by Roxanne Rix