Why would he have said that if he had no plans of trying?  Why would he have called his boss for a ride to work?  Why would he have stopped to buy cottage cheese for his lunch that day?  So many questions would never be answered….


After the party, I woke up late the next morning to the sudden ring of the phone. Woozy and half asleep I heard my ex-husband’s voice on the other end, “Where is he?  Is he there?”  I heard something like accusation, frustration and anger in his voice.  Maybe all three.  I sat up in bed. “What!?  He never showed up?  What the hell?  Didn’t Valerie call you when he didn’t come over last night?”  He hung up on me, his usual way of handling things.

I was stunned as my brain scrambled to my rescue. What should I do first?  Should I call his best friends, Tyler and Travis?  These three boys had been joined at the hip from the time they were six and seven years old.   I clicked the button on the house phone and called voice mail.  Why hadn’t I thought of that last night?   There was a message, and with a sigh of relief, I realized it was Chad’s voice.  It’s funny how all of these moments, every word spoken, are frozen in my mind.

“Mom,? ….(his voice started to crack)…. “I Love you.”  Then I could hear him crying as his voice became more distorted.  “I’m soooo sorry.”  A click ended the call and my heart screamed.  What did he mean?  My mind rushed in to make sense of the message but my heart knew then what my mind could never accept.  It broke in half and I felt the pain, the darkness and an incredible fear.

Just for one second, I thought, “Jesus, did he kill himself?” But my rational mind answered quickly.  No, he wouldn’t do that.  Why would he have said he’d check himself in?  Last week when he nearly froze to death sleeping in his truck in the mountains, he came home and going up the stairs to his room said, “I almost fuckin froze out there.”  No, he wouldn’t do that.

Italy -2002

To be continued tomorrow….


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