A park ranger picked us up not five minutes after we got back to my Jeep. We'd left the parking area beside the trail head, but we hadn't even made it back to the main road. He filled us in a little - told us that there had been mass disappearances, world-wide, and that nobody was sure what had really happened - but mainly he took down our names, addresses, and family information. He said he was going to radio it in, so someone could put it in the big national database that everyone was using to search for missing family. It was something that FEMA had come up with, apparently.
The radio wasn't much help. Everyone broadcasting assumed that everyone else knew as much as they did. They didn't give us any new information about what had happened, and we didn't understand the significance of what they did have to say. It wasn't until we got back to campus and found my roommate, Andrew, that we could get any real information about what had happened while we were away.
And that was when Anna realized - or decided - that we'd been left behind. The Rapture, she said, had come. Jesus had claimed His own, taking them directly to Heaven to avoid the judgements that were about to be poured out upon the Earth.
And I, in my usual I'm-withholding-judgement-until-I-get-more-and-better-information way, said: "That doesn't seem very likely."
It didn't occur to me until much later that Anna would see that as a slap at her beliefs, or that she considered those beliefs so personal that rejecting them was rejecting her. She just went very still, the way she does when she's angry but doesn't want to show it, and then she told me that she was going to find her parents, and that Andrew and I should do the same.
And then she left. It seemed a little abrupt, but I didn’t think much about it at the time. We’d just found out about a disaster, she needed to check on her family, and we’d been together all weekend; of course she’d want to get going. I wanted to get going, too.
So I went back to my room, and picked up my cell phone, and called home. And what I learned then made me forget all about what Anna and I had said to each other.
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