All's well that ends well....
I fondly remember late night phone calls when a guy rang me in the middle of the night to tell me he loved me and missed me and would be home soon. It was sleepily sweet and dreamy. I felt warm when I whispered good bye with a happy smile on face.
Those days are long gone.
Late night phone calls are no fun anymore.
At times they are a harsh waking bringing cold fear.
These days late night phone calls include:
I didn't mean to call...my phone dialed you accidentally.
I ran out of gas. Can you bring me some?
My heart is broken and I am sad.
Someone is dying.
Last night when the phones all rang, we assumed the worst. A series of ringing phones.
Like a game of...wait for it...telephone.
It was 11:30 when I got the call from Sugar Cookie. Local news was ending. I was all excited looking forward to a near perfect combination. U2 on Letterman. Two of my celebrity crushes. Sugar Cookie was worried about Little Missy...and with good reason.
Sometime after 10:30, Little Missy had called her friend Caroline. At 21, Caroline is the only one of the "six-pack" who lives at home. Six girls who have been buddies since kindergarten... think "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants".
Little Missy had called Caroline because she needed a ride. It was raining...she was calling collect from a pay phone. She called that number because she knew it by heart from childhood. Little Missy didn't know anyone's current cell phone numbers by heart. And apparently Little Missy was upset and crying. She had hung up, without saying where she was.
Uh Oh. At this point I was up and moving, TV off.
Sugar Cookie proceeds to tell me that Caroline called Maia (who is another of the six-pack...but closer to Sugar Cookie.) Caroline tried calling me...but has my old number (which now belongs to someone else.) Little Missy's Dad isn't answering his phone, so Caroline called Maia who called Sugar Cookie. Before calling me...they have tried to get a hold of The Cub. ('cause an 18 year old, 6 foot, 290 pound brother might know more or because they wanted the muscle??)
Sugar Cookie said The Cub isn't answering his phone.
She said The Cub's roommate isn't answering his phone.
Little Missy isn't answering her phone.
They didn't want to worry the 'rents until they had to.
I call Maia to hear first hand details only to learn that Caroline had called the police.
(The back story here is that Little Missy has recently moved in with her Boyfriend...her Novio...who is a bit older...and not well known among her friends. Little Missy is carrying a full load in school...and works graveyard driving a forklift restocking shelves at Home Depot. She doesn't have a lot of spare time...and has not been among her old friends lately. Little Missy does not go public with her crying...is rarely without her phone. Concern is somewhat understandable.)
It's 11:45, and the police are involved.
We have ourselves a show.
I no longer need to decide if the situation warrants being ramped up...someone else made that decision for me. I wouldn't have gotten law enforcement involved at that point. But it was done...and now we had to deal.
I'm praying...pulling on clothes...and calling Little Missy's dad. ( He'd been in the shower and didn't yet know Caroline and the cops had called.) I very calmly explain what is going on. The calm part didn't help. He is going to Little Missy's home NOW.
However, he has never been there...doesn't know where it is. I have the address...somewhere...in a box. He asks a dozen questions I have no answer for...I tell him to talk to Caroline, and ask him where The Cub is. The Cub has been to his sister's new place. They have guitar hero after all. My ex thinks The Cub, and The Cub's roommate, are at work.
Now Little Missy's Dad lives way high up in the mountains. Ten minutes on a one lane gravel road....another ten on paved county roads...and twenty more on the freeway to the next town where Little Missy lives. He heads down the mountain...I head to the gym where The Cub works.
No Cub or Cub roommate at the gym...so I tell my ex I am off to Home Depot. I text The Cub to call me now. I use the word IMPORTANT. My ex, halfway down the mountain (now with no cell coverage, increasing concern, and at unsafe speed) is met by two Sheriff cars who are on their way to his house. (I'm gonna skip the part about why two Sheriffs would make a beeline response for my ex's house cause it doesn't pertain.) Unbeknownst to me, one Sheriff follows my ex to find Little Missy's home, and the other goes to find me at Home Depot.
I pull up to the front door at Home Depot and tap on the window with my keys. I see several workers summon a guy who appears to be in charge. It occurs to me that this is Little Missy's boss...and The Boyfriend's boss. So I need to be cool. I explain who I am...and say I have a bit of a family emergency and want to know if either one of them are there.
Turns out they were both scheduled to work...but The Boyfriend had called in sick...for both of them. The night manager looks over my shoulder, and I turn around. The Sheriff. I think he is there because I have pulled up to the door of the closed store with the engine on and lights blazing. I don't know he is looking for Little Missy and knows who I am and why I am there. I ask the Home Depot guy if he has The Boyfriend's cell number. I am cursing my lack of bilinguality. He looks at me...and gives a lame answer about employee phone numbers being locked up. I tell him..okay...I understand he can't give it out. I tell him "if" he talks to Little Missy or The Boyfriend to have them call me or her Dad.
I leave my cell number with the Home Depot Hombre ...assure the Sheriff I'm okay and get into the truck...my phone rings. The Cub.
He was at a party. He picked up his Dad's fifth call. The previous midnight calls from Maia, Sugar Cookie, me, and the first four from his father didn't clue him in that something may be going on.
His friend Grace is driving him and his truck to Little Missy's place to meet his Dad. Before I could ask "Why is Grace driving your truck?" ...my phone beeps...my ex is calling. Same. He is meeting The Cub at Little Missy's place. Apparently the Sheriff with me has called the Sheriff with him and reported back.
Just then Little Missy calls her Dad. She is home. Nothing is wrong. (her boss had called The Boyfriend and alerted him that we were looking for Little Missy) My ex calls me back...he is still headed to their place with The Cub and the cops. He wants to see Little Missy for himself.
The Sheriff (my escort? my wingman?) is on his radio. He nods a smile to me. I do some wave/salute thing and I head home. I call Sugar Cookie...tell her to call the other girls. Little Missy calls me, says she's okay. But then she has to hang up and call me back. Her dad is at their door...with an entourage.
I am back home by the time she calls again. Yeah...Little Missy and her Beau had a "tiff" (her word). She flew out in anger...with a dead cell phone. Little Missy has dealt with serious anger management issues for a dozen years. Her anger and their argument were over a subject which had nothing to do with The Boyfriend. Another story for another day.
Everyone phones everyone. Little Missy and I talk for half an hour about how it all came down. Who called who. Why people worry. Why being out of touch and having an older boyfriend makes people suspicious. Surprisingly neither Little Missy or The Boyfriend are angry about the series of events. We spend more time talking about what she was upset about in the first place. We're gonna talk again this afternoon...and we're gonna meet for a meal in the next couple days. I want to be sure it is as she says.
In this morning's debrief with my ex, we are thankful it was a false alarm. He's glad he charged out there. Glad that Little Missy knows people care that much. Glad that The Boyfriend knows people care that much. He has not been comfortable with his daughter having an older Novio. His way of dealing is to not interact with them at all. Maybe he will lighten up now...accept their dinner invitation once in a while.
I need to look into why The Cub couldn't drive himself.