Anne had no idea where her ex had taken her four-year-old son, Britt, no idea where to begin looking.
December –Christmas– dragged by. And then most of January.
Every day was much like the day before. Anne would be at work at the dental office by 7 a.m. and home by 3:30, always with the same question as she came through the door:
“Any news from Bob?”
“No, honey, I’m afraid not,” her mother would reply. Sometimes her mother would just shake her head, No.
And then, late one afternoon toward the end of January, a bill collector called. Anne answered the phone. Her ex had skipped a payment on his truck in December and the credit union wanted its money. Another payment was due in two days.
“Wait a minute,” Anne said. “I don’t have a truck and I don’t owe you any money.”
“Yes, ma’am, your name is on the paper work and you didn’t make the December payment and the January payment is due the day after tomorrow. When may we expect payment?”
And then Anne realized — this was her chance, maybe her only chance — and she asked the single most important question of her life:
“Where is this truck I am supposed to have bought?”
There was silence on the other end except for the familiar clicking of a computer keyboard. The clicking of the keys stopped, another pause, and then he gave her the address.
“Hello, hello, are you still there, when may we expect payment?”
“We’ll get a check in the mail today,” she said. Anne hung up the phone and stared at the address she had written down.
Her ex-husband, Bob, and her son, Britt, were in Houston Texas.