This morning I had I swung back to thinking that I was being silly letting myself be intimidated by a teenager. Whatever she knows and whatever she can do, she’s a child. I decided I should talk to her parents. I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me before.
It wasn’t very hard to find her home address online. When I went out to the parking lot there was some kid riding around on a bike eyeballing me. I think I recognized him from some of her social media posts. He zipped off before I could decide if I wanted to talk to him.
The house was by Portage Woods, which is where she had told me to meet her later that night. It was a nice enough place, a little run down. It was narrow and long like old houses are. The driveway was stretched out to a garage that was behind the house.
I wasn’t expecting anyone to be home, ten in the morning I assumed everyone would be at work. Maybe I was hoping no one would be home. The mom answered. I recognized her from the porn video. She looked like Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone. Not all the way cracked out but someone who’s living too hard, knows it, but can’t do anything about it. She looked healthier in that video. I wonder how long ago that was made.
Caught off guard, I stammered that I wanted to talk to her about her daughter. She asked if I was a cop. I think she was pretty out of it. Before I could answer she walked into the living room and sat down on the couch. The place was kind of a mess but not a hoarder nest. There was a TV stand with no TV. On it were several piles of magazines, who buys magazines?
She told me she didn’t know where her daughter was if I was there trying to arrest her. She said that she wasn’t at school because she never went to school anymore. I told her that I wasn’t a cop. She asked me if I was from her lawyer’s office. Before I could say anything, out of nowhere she said that she was on Lexapro and Chlorpromazine.
I lamely told her that I thought her daughter might be mixed up with something. She started crying without warning. I had no idea what to do. I asked her if I could talk to her husband and she said that he was gone. I sat there not saying anything and having no clue what I should do next. She sat there and cried unabashedly.
I had no plan going in there. What would I have said if she was able to talk? That I think her daughter magically called me here to participate in human sacrifice? I mumbled an apology for bothering her and left. Driving away I thought about calling the police but what would I say? It’s the same thing.
When I got back to the motel I saw that kid riding around the parking lot again. He cut down an alley when he saw my car.