Welcome to chapter 7! As always, remember that this is an unedited free write. Comments, suggestions, critique are welcome! You can read the previous chapters by clicking the links at the bottom of the screen. The link on this post should say “Chapter 6—belong.” Enjoy!
Just as Cory walked in the door to take Erin to dinner, Scott’s text tone sounded.
“Car doesn’t appear to be in the garage. No lights on in the house. Knocked and no one answered. She must have gone somewhere.”
Erin swiftly composed a reply: “?? She’s never actually left town that I’m aware of. She has no family. Ugh. Why does she not have a cell phone? What’s next?”
Scott’s reply was swift: “We wait.”
Noting her worried look, Cory gave Erin a long hug. “Does that have anything to do with what you wanted to talk about?”
“Let’s get to the restaurant and I’ll fill you in,” Erin said as she waved to Adrian. He’d be closing the shop in less than an hour, and Erin knew she could trust him to lock up and set the alarm. They were a strictly 7-to-6 operation. They rarely had anyone come in the evenings.
Walking hand in hand the three blocks to the restaurant. Cory had been right and the restaurant was nearly empty. The hostess sat them at a quiet table near the fireplace, which was not yet lit on this lovely October evening. After ordering a glass of wine for her and a water with lemon for him, Cory sat back, giving Erin space to say what was on her mind.
“Might as well just jump in, I guess, “ she started. “Otherwise I’m just going to be distracted and you’re going to be curious.”
Cory grinned his reply and she summed up as she had for Scott just a little while before. “And so, Scott stopped by her house on the way home and said her car is gone and the lights are all out.”
“Guess she went somewhere,” Cory stated what he thought was the obvious.
“She never goes anywhere except to doctors appointments and here to the Village,” Erin pointed out.
“There’s a first time for everything,” Cory said.
“In twenty years?” Erin exclaimed. “I know it’s not beyond the realm of possibility, but she doesn’t have any family . . .”
“That you know of,” interrupted Cory.
“OK, OK, “ Erin conceded. “You’re right. I don’t know everything there is to know about her. But her not being there on top of the voicemail message, makes me afraid for her. I just hope she’s all right.”
Their server came back to the table with their beverages and they had to admit that they hadn’t even looked at the menu yet and could she give them just a few more minutes?
Each of them perused the menu and made their choices. The server came back and took their order and left a basket of freshly made rolls with butter on their table.
Ever conscious of her carb intake, Erin declined, but Cory dug in.
“There’s not much we can do at this point,” Cory pointed out. “She’s not reachable since she has no cell phone. We can’t jump to the assumption that she’s come to harm.”
Erin sipped her wine and looked around the dim restaurant. It was one of the nicer places in the Village, known for it’s crab legs and fresh caught fish, since it was so near the ocean. Other couples were scattered around the room, and it looked like there were a couple of business meetings going on.
“What are you thinkin’?” Cory broke in on her reverie.
“I don’t know,” Erin responded. “I just feel a little helpless.”
Reaching over to take her hand, Cory stayed silent, yet communicated his sympathy with his green eyes.
“I’ll give it a couple of days,” Erin said as their server approached with their food. “But if she doesn’t show up, we’re going to need to do something.”