Chapter 8 – Grace Knew She Didn’t Tell Matt the Truth
Grace felt her right eye beginning twitch and her heart racing. She couldn’t find her cell phone. She turned her purse upside down on the kitchen countertop. She scattered the contents loose change splattered on the floor. She ran into the living room and ran her hand inside the edges of the sofa. She pulled the cushions off the sofa and tossed them on the floor. I should have a landline, she screamed at herself. She felt as if she were going to faint. Then she remembered where she last had her phone, it was in the master bathroom.
The bathroom was a mess, she hadn’t bothered to clean it up. “Why did I leave it this way. I am losing it. I am losing it,” she screamed to no one.
She grabbed at the the dirty towels strewn across the floor and tossed them into the soaker tub. She turned toward the counter. She stopped when she saw her cell phone in one of the two basins. The faucet was dripping a steady stream of water on it. She turned the water off and took hold of her cell phone, and said, “Oh, no, it won’t work. I know it won’t work.”
She hit speed dial, “James? James? Please pick up. James, you’ve got to help me.”
“What’s wrong, Grace?”
“Matt. Matt ran away,” Grace hollered.
“He’s probably at a friend’s house. Have you called his friends?” said James nonchalantly.
“I’m serious, he’s run away. He left me a note. He’s going to live in the mountains. Mike showed him a cave when he was a little boy. He’ll be alone in the mountains, James. You’ve got to help me,” said Grace, her voice shaking.
“I’d like to, Grace, but I’ve got an important meeting I can’t miss. I’ll come over this evening. We’ll go out for dinner and talk about it. Got to run,” said James ending the call.
Grace felt herself starting to pass out, she was falling and screaming.
“Mom, Mom are you okay?” hollered Matt.
Grace looked up from the floor. The bedsheets were still wrapped around her. “I was having a nightmare, that’s all, Matt. Come here and give me a hug,” said Grace.
Grace held Matt close to her, she didn’t want to let go, but Matt pushed away. “You’ll be okay, Mom. Remember what the counselor told us about nightmares?”
Grace got to her feet, holding the sheet, “I remember, Matt. I’m okay. Go back to bed.”
“You sure? I can get you a bottle of water if you want it.”
“I’m all set. I love you,” said Grace.
“I love you too, Mom,” said Matt as he turned and left the room.
Grace knew she wasn’t going back to sleep. She sat on the edge of her bed and took hold of her cell phone from the side table. She turned it over and stared at at the time, two-twelve a.m. She had to go to work in the morning. It was already morning, she laughed to herself, it’s just too early in the morning for normal people.
Grace set the phone back on the side table, she spread the sheet out on the bed, put the blanket on top of it. Before she went back to bed, she walked into the master bathroom to make sure it wasn’t as messy as it was in her dream. She took a deep sigh of relief when she flicked the bathroom light on, The bathroom was clean, all the towels were clean and hanging in place with one exception, a hand towel. It was tossed on the counter. She couldn’t remember doing that, but then again, she thought, who else could have done it.
For the next two hours Grace checked the time on her iPhone every fifteen minutes. She turned on her right side. She turned back on her left side. She lied on her back. She lied on her belly. She flipped her pillow over searching for the cold side a half dozen times. Later, she remembered not checking her iPhone at five-fifteen. Her alarm sounded at six. When Grace walked into the bathroom her first words to herself as she looked into the mirror were, “You look like hell, girl.”
Grace stayed in the shower an extra ten minutes trying to wash the memories of the nightmare out of her system. It didn’t work. When she made her way to the kitchen, Matt was waiting for her. He had a bowl of Cheerios, a piece of toast covered with peanut butter, a glass of milk, and an apple in front of him.
“Mind if I start without you, Mom. Today’s the first day of basketball camp. I’ll need my energy. Jimmy’s mom is going to take us and she said it’s fine for me to stay after camp until you pick me up. You can call her if you don’t believe me,” said Matt taking a bite of his peanut butter toast.
“Don’t talk with food in your mouth,” said Grace. She turned and walked over to the coffee pot and measured out two large scoops, she planned to make herself an extra strong serving of coffee this morning.
Grace turned to Matt, “I’m sorry for snapping, Matt. I didn’t fall back to sleep until after 5.”
Matt shrugged, “It’s okay. He took another bite of his toast.
Grace turned back to the coffee maker trying to wish it to hurry. Her iPhone sat on the counter in front of her. She heard a ding, and saw a text message. It was from James.
“Who’s that?” asked Matt.
“Oh, just a friend from work who wants to meet me at Starbucks. I think I’ll turn to coffee off and leave a bit early. You sure you’ll be okay?”
“Yup. I’ll turn off the lights, and make sure all the doors are locked. I won’t go out of the house until Jimmy’s mom pulls in the driveway.”
“Thanks, Matt,” said Grace then wondered why she didn’t tell him the truth. She felt guilty it was one of the rules they both agreed to observe.