There was a traffic jam on the way home and so I missed her call. The littler girls took off my coat and told me overlapping stories about their vacation day.
"Rosy's over ----'s house." Mr. Amazing Already Made Dinner Man said.
An hour later the phone rang. It was -----'s mother calling to see if ----- was at our house.
At first, I was amused. "You'd think they'd be smarter!" I laughed. And then I was cool. "I'll call Rosy, she always answers my calls."
She didn't answer. I looked out the window. Still early, but dark.
I called again. She didn't answer.
And in that split second nothing mattered but her. Finding her. Out in the snow with her friend, innocent of the cruel people out to do them harm. In a split second I was imagining unspeakable things and I felt in my heart that she was truly lost. It was so fast, there wasn't any room for reason.
And then the phone rang and it was her beautiful blooming voice. I was very nice. She was apologetic. She'd tried to call. I was in traffic. "Sure you can eat dinner there. Love you too."
I hung up the phone and I cried. Relieved and starkly aware that in the very second my world righted itself, someone else's nightmare may have begun. That's the way life works. But I sidestepped the loss once again. Luck. Pure luck.
Phew. To say the least.