Jenny met Rod at the door when he finally pulled in to the driveway well after dark. Her red-rimmed eyes made it obvious she'd been crying.
"Rod!" she shouted, throwing her arms around his neck, "I was so worried."
"About what?" he asked, returning the hug. He sighed quietly, relieved that she hadn't come out the door in a screaming fit.
"You." She said, pulling back. "I just saw the traffic reports and heard that it's a nightmare out there on the expressways. I was worried that you got in one of those horrible accidents, since I haven't heard from you in a while."
"Yeah, it's pretty bad." He shrugged. "I got through okay. Where's, uh," he paused to look around the entryway, "Where's Kev-head?"
Her tight hug immediately loosened. "What did you say?"
"I asked where Kevin is."
She let him go and stepped back, an angry, incredulous look plastered across her face. "Kevin disappeared. Don't you remember?"
"Oh," recognition flashed across his eyes, "Right." He tried to recover. "I, uh, figured that since you were sitting around watching the news, that meant you found him."
"No," she shook her head. "I've been looking for him for the past three hours. I just came back to the house to check to see if he'd come home when I saw the pile-ups on the news."
"Oh," Rod winced, "Well maybe we should call the police."
"I already did. They're a bit busy, so I've had to take matters in to my own hands."
"And I take it you didn't find him."
Her right hand swung around in a roundhouse move with an open-palmed slap that connected hard with his left cheek. She moved so fast that he didn't even have a chance to react. His head snapped around and he momentarily lost his balance. He stumbled back a few steps, but kept on his feet.
"What was that for?" he shouted, raising his left hand to massage the stinging cheek.
"It's for being an inconsiderate ass, what do you think?" She raised her left hand to strike him again.
He grabbed her wrist and held it tight. "Okay, Jenny, okay. I'm sorry."
"For being an inconsiderate ass, apparently."
She sighed heavily and yanked her arm out of his grasp. "You just don't get it, do you?"
"Our son is missing. I've been looking for him and worried sick about you getting home safe. I've been all by myself trying to keep from completely losing it and only barely holding on. Everything is falling apart out there. And you just come waltzing home like nothing happened. Not only that, you don't even remember that anything happened."
"Okay, fine," he said, turning away from her, "I get it." He started walking down the driveway."
"Where are you going?"
"To look for Kevin," he said over his shoulder. "Anywhere but here," he mumbled to himself.
Jenny shook her head and walked back in to the house. The news was still on and Kevin's shirt was still draped across the arm of the couch. She absentmindely picked it up and started walking towards the TV to shut it off. Halfway across the room she stopped short, hardly able to believe what she was seeing or hearing.
"I repeat," said the disheveled anchor, "Preliminary reports indicate that millions, if not billions of people worldwide have disappeared." "Including..." he shook his head sadly and looked down at his desk, apparently ready to burst in to tears. A close shot of a woman filled the screen. She was on her knees in the middle of a street, eyes closed tight and mouth drawn back in an expression of sheer agony. In her uplifted hands she cradled an empty infant's jumper. The anchor composed himself and looked back at the camera. Silent tears streamed down his cheeks. "Including, as far as we can tell, every single child on the face of the Earth."
He slumped forward on to the desk and began sobbing in to the sleeve of his suit coat. A barely audible, "Oh, Bethany...David...why?" came through the TV's speakers.
A woman appeared on the screen. "We're, uh, we're..." she hesitated, barely managing to stay composed herself, "We're going to go back to coverage of the situation on the roads. If we get any additional information, you'll be the first to know." She reached out and put her arm around the anchor's shoulders as the studio feed faded out.
The sheet enormity of the situation suddenly hit Jenny. Unable to hold herself together any longer, she collapsed to the floor and began sobbing in to her missing son's shirt.
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