She walks into the room, barely suppressed excitement oozing out into the air, making it difficult to breathe without choking on the expectation of drama. He's missing again. I know it before she tells me. I always do.
His mother is frantic. At first it's confusion. Then rage. And now a little bit of worry seeps in through the corners of the tightly sealed doors and windows. His father has just been told. The boy is in real trouble. Again.
Lazlo and I exchange sympathetic looks guarded closely behind blank faces. At least, for once, he is better at it than I am. I am still finding it hard to breathe normally. She questions him, and Lazlo denies having any knowledge about the boy's disappearance. She looks at him in disapproval with a faint tinge of pride. It's never her son. Lazlo looks almost uncomfortable, and I feel bad.
She walks out of the room, expressing her concern for the boy and decides to call his mother so that they can go look for him together. Front row seats, I think viciously. And then let the guilt gnaw at my insides for even thinking such a cruel thought. Of course she's worried. That's the look in her eye. Why am I focusing only on that glint?
I wait till she's gone and then turn to Lazlo, keeping my voice calm so as to not scare him. He doesn't know. I can always tell. They've become too predictable. All of them. My head starts to hurt and I think of the medication my mother has just been prescribed. I think she bought the pills today. I try to think of something else. Anything else, but there's a black hole in my head and all the thoughts are sucked out before I can comprehend them.
Lazlo looks at me strangely and I manage a glare. He leaves the room and I let my head fall forward. I can hear them arguing outside. Somewhere in the middle of the argument I hear my name. I don't even bother trying to listen anymore. It's always the same anyway.
My father leaves to help find the missing boy. My mother hurries along. Don't forget your camera, I think and once again feel the all too familiar guilt melting my insides. I ignore the feeling. As always.
And as I let my mind go dull with hunger, I manage to wonder where he really is. A part of me hopes he finally found the courage to do what he was planning to, though the sane part of me is shocked that I can even think that way. I don't feel too bad. Takes too much effort...
Good luck Boy. I'm rooting for you.