Archive for the ‘Post: 10.5’ Category

Saturday, March 31, 1:14 p.m.

I pull up in front of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, situated in a part of Seattle with the worst parking I’ve ever encountered. For blocks upon blocks, the curb is solidly bricked in by Detroit steel and Japanese innovation. I give up, put on my hazard lights, and abandon my vehicle in the middle of the street. I jump out. Lucy is nowhere to be seen.

Standing on the stone staircase is an impossibly tall young man.

“Christopher!” I shout. “You stay put. I need to talk to you.”

If he’s guilty of crimes against Lucy, he will bolt. I pull out my cell phone and dial Jack’s number. Christopher stands obediently on the stairs, waiting for me.

I’m dumped yet again into Jack’s voicemail.

“It’s me,” I say. Apparently I’ve finally accepted that we’re on an “it’s me” basis. “Lucy took the bus. I’m scared something happened to her. I’m at your church. Christopher’s here, too. He did something to upset her. Call me back.”

I hang up. I approach Christopher. If he tries to attack me, I’m not sure which of us will emerge the victor. He’s at least a foot taller than me, but I doubt he weighs more than I do. He has no muscle mass whatsoever.

“What did you do to Lucy last night?” I demand.

Christopher takes a step up the staircase. He looks horrified.

“Nothing!” he says. “Why? What did she tell you?”

“Booze and a porn video, which led to late night drunk dialing. Then you pulled the inevitable ‘Are you naked?’ routine,” I say.

“I did not…I would never…it wasn’t a porn video, exactly. I…oh Lord Jesus!”

Christopher turns as pink as Barbie’s dream house and covers his face with his spidery fingers.

“I’m such a sinner!” he moans hollowly behind his hands. “I said unholy things about her body—a future nun’s body. How will I ever get into seminary now?”

There’s no way this gangly kid is a rapist/kidnapper. I consider patting him consolingly on his bony shoulder, but I don’t want to give him any ideas, seeing how all it took was a couple beers and a “Girls Gone Wild” DVD to push his repressed self over the edge.

“Has Lucy called you? Or emailed or texted?” I ask.

He shakes his head miserably.

“Will you take your hands down, please?” I say. “She called me. She said she was taking the bus here so she could go to confession. Have you seen her?”

Christopher clasps his hands uneasily at belt level and shakes his head, his face still alarmingly pink.

“Has the bus come?” I say.

Christopher nods.

“It only runs once every two hours from Ballard on Saturday,” he says.

My heart, already beating fast, accelerates.

“Let’s go check her house,” I say. “Maybe she changed her mind and got off.”

As we jog to my car, I dial Lucy’s cell phone number. It goes directly to voicemail.

“Lucy?” I say. “If you’re on the bus, get off! There might be someone dangerous on it. Get off and call me.”