She realized in a panic that she couldn’t answer even basic questions like what they were wearing when they were last seen. She tried to think back to Friday morning, which now seemed like ages ago. Jake had been wearing what, the blue shirt she liked so much because it brought out the color of his eyes? No, he had wanted to dress like his dad again that morning. They both were wearing red that morning. That’s right, Jake had his red polo shirt on, the one with the button that refused to remain in place, the collar turned slightly up. He had his khaki shorts on, the ones that were too wide around the waist and sagged down upon his hips, but the ones he liked so much because they resembled his dad’s work slacks. His brown hair had been matted down on one side from sleeping hard the night before, his bangs sweeping up desperately in need of another haircut. Charlotte was planning on whipping out the scissors for an at-home cheap trim later this week. This meant that Fletcher must also be wearing his red polo shirt and tan slacks, a pairing that he would not have worn if he was planning a number of first-time prospective sales calls.
Charlotte returned the form to the window and continued to wait, preferring to watch the minute hand of the clock shift rather than meet the eyes of the other people on the benches. Every so often, one would change. The angry woman replaced with a greasy overweight man with scraggy beard who smelled of cheap alcohol, the terrified couple replaced with an aloof teen, blaring music through his ear buds.
“Mrs. Row?” An officer stood in the doorway to the waiting area, glancing down at a clipboard and then scanning the individuals in the room. Charlotte quickly gathered her things as she slightly raised her hand at him to signify her attendance. “This way.”
They passed a few desks with other officers in the process of either conducting interviews or processing paperwork. “Have a seat, Mrs. Row. It says here that you are reporting both your husband and your son missing. Is this correct?”
“And that they may have been missing as many as four days?”
“Yes, um, I went to the beach with friends directly after work on Friday and didn’t come back until Sunday afternoon?”
“And you never checked in with your family during your trip?”
“No. It was supposed to be a girls-only weekend. No phones.”
“And why, if you returned on Sunday, are you only reporting their disappearance at—” he looked at the clock, “4:15 on Monday?”
“My husband said that he might take them camping while I was gone. He is terrible about letting me know when his plans change or if he gets delayed.”
“Mrs. Row, would you describe your marriage as happy?”