To recount the first part of this chapter, click here.
The Phone rings and my stomach lurches.
“Ruth and David didn’t show up. They’ve never missed a court date before.” Charise has a good point; they are pretty responsible for addicts. “The judge reviewed the case and told us to find Payten immediately. I called both their cell phones after the hearing, and I got their voicemail.”
How can you be homeless and afford two cell phones?
“I left them each a message an hour ago but they haven’t called back. They’re avoiding me because they know what’s coming.” Charise’s voice is even keel, matter-of-fact; she doesn’t take their avoidance personally. “I’ll call you when I know more.”
My manic spurts of energy are littered all morning with phone calls from Charise. In my frenzied preparations between her phone calls, I vacillate from being angry to sad for Ruth and David’s situation.
During one phone call Charise asks,“Can I tell them you and Andrew are taking Payton? They may feel better surrendering her if they know where she’s going.”
Why the hell not, they already know where we live.
Charise is a social welfare pro and normally unfazed by things that would give the rest of us an ulcer; however, her tone conveys disbelief the next time we hear from her. “Still nothing! I left a message warning them that it will be a kidnapping charge if they don’t drop Payton off in my office by 5 PM.” She lowers her voice confidentially, “We think they might try and run.”
I am silent, numb. Are Ruth and David really that desperate to avoid the consequences of their mistakes?