Fearing The Worst!
My young Teen Daughter Susan went to the cinema today, with her friend Christina. There is just a year between them. She did tell me what they were going to watch, but I'd forgotten. All I knew was that the film would start at 2pm and end 4.45pm. She hadn't taken her little bag just her bright coloured purse, holding it in her hand.
So I wouldn't forget, I sent her a text so when she eventually found her mobile and read her text, she would get my info. I'd said in the text, “Best not to hold your purse in your hand, for anyone can grab it from you on the bus or street, it's best to put your money in your top jacket pocket, that way no one will know where your money is kept. “
I know she didn't have her phone with her because half of the time she can't find it or it isn't charged, so she leaves it at home. She doesn't need credit to phone as we can talk to each other for 'free.' because I have mobile phone contract.
I was going to a meeting, it would be about 90 minutes long. I left home 5.20pm knowing Daughter and her friend would be on their way home. I didn't have a lot of petrol in the car or I would have picked them up. When you leave our cinema, the nearest bus stop is on the main road and depending how fast or slow you walk its about 20 minutes walk to the bus stop. Both of them walk slow!! By now it was dark, really dark and I was a bit anxious, but I knew the lonely road they would walk to get to the bus stop was well lit and there were a few other shops opposite the cinema, then the road was lonely until they reach the main road where the bus stop was.
If she didn't have her key, Husband would be at home to let her in, (this she usually does have, for I have said to her many times, “Your key gives you freedom).” The building where our meeting was held, was about 10 minutes from the cinema, if all the traffic lights are on green, and there is no other traffic on the usually very busy roads.
In the meeting I couldn't concentrate...... I kept thinking, I wished I'd just driven over there and met them outside the cinema a 4.45pm, as it was SO dark and they walk SO slow! Would her brightly coloured purse draw attention to them now?
At 6pm I rang my Husband to ask if she had returned, he informed me “No,” but if they had missed the the hourly bus that arrived at 5pm then they would have just got on the 6pm bus. “Oh WHY didn't I just drive over there in the first place” I said to myself. I rang Christina's Mum and asked her if her Daughter had arrived home she said, “No, not yet” she remind me it was Sunday service and the bus would be one every hour. That didn't help. I asked if she had rang Christina, she had “Yes” but her phone was off.” Susan hadn't eaten any Lunch, as we had been to the Town earlier, to get some bargains in the sale and she had gone from there to Christina's house, so they could go to the cinema.
My mind was not on the meeting! The time was now 6.30pm I went outside the room and rang Husband again, no Susan still hadn't arrived , I rang Christina's Mum, she hadn't arrived either. I decided to go and look for them. I drove to the bus stop no one was there, so I went down the lonely quite cinema road, looking for them on both sides of the road as I drove. I went into the cinema, and spoke to the to helpful Sales Assistants who were at the refreshment counter. I informed them my Daughter and her friend were missing, that they had come here for 2pm they asked me what they had come to watch, I said she had told me and I had forgotten. One of them went and got the film times start & end list. They went through the ones that started around 2pm and informed me that they would have finished at 4.45pm. As the complex is large and busy I didn't see the point of giving their description as time was of the essence! I thanked them and left, saying I would drive to the bus station as they may have got off there. I rang my Husband outside the cinema, informing him I was now going to the bus station. He said, “I shouldn't he said they would probably just be in the Town.” I said the Town is closed, its “Sunday evening.” Husband said I should go back to my meeting and he'd phone me as soon as she arrived home. Reluctantly I did. So many thoughts went through my mind, I really wanted to cry! I thought of little April who has been missing since last year, presumed dead. The thought of anyone hurting my little Susan..... then I saw through the windows flashing lights of the police car rushing up the road! I tried to calm my fears, but no peace came. I'd seen that often as I had sat in that meeting room …. but this was the last thing I wanted to see.
Yes, I said a prayer! I thought I wont make a promise I cant keep, I just prayed they would be found safe and well, and I'd remember to thank Him afterwards. I thought back to a Father whose Daughter was killed in the aeroplane that had blown up over Lockerbie, her parents had kept her bedroom the same as she had left it, the night she was killed. I've been in that room and it was tidy, I thought how untidy my Daughter's bedroom room was, and yes that was nothing now but I would keep it that way! Then I thought, she is grounded!!! And back then to, “Please bring her back to us safe”
It was now 7pm, my mobile had been on silent and I had looked at it often where it was placed on the table in front of me, then my Husbands face appeared, I stood up and walked quickly to the door, I answered quietly before I even left the room, “Yes?” I was through the door, “She is home, they had arrived late to the cinema and they had waited for another film to start.” I relieved said, “OK” I went back into the meeting.
I arrived home, I said to Susan, who was in the bath, “Please make sure you bring your phone with you every time you go out.” She looked beautiful when she came out the bathroom, she was extra special. I then said, “Tonight I thought you had been killed” she seemed shocked, yet still managed to smile! 'OTT Mum!' I bet that's what she was thinking. I said “If you had your phone and had just let us know, then that wouldn't have been a problem” I went on, “I thought of little April who went missing last year, her body still hasn't yet been found.” I reminded her, that when she left me she hadn't eaten, she said, “When she had arrived at Christina's she was still doing her hair, and was still doing her hair, 15 minutes after she had arrived” and that after they left the cinema that went to the Town and had a MacDonald’s, just like Husband had said.
I'd removed her laptop, as she had gone to bed too late the night before, and the night before that, but I said to my Husband “I'd give it her back now for an hour” and (to myself) 'she doesn't have to wash up tonight.....'
She gave us a kiss each on the cheek before she went up to bed, (she had stopped doing this a while ago) but when I'd told her how worried we had been, I'd told her its because we love her.
Before I got into bed I remembered to say “Thank you, to God”