We were together for a little more than four years. He finally popped the question — I wanted him to ask since our third anniversary and kept dropping hints on him — while we were on vacation in Cape Cod.
Seven months later, we had a little wedding ceremony in the wine country of upstate New York and had an amazing honeymoon. (We went to St. Kitts.)
Coming back, he said he didn’t feel too great and spent much of his time in the airplane bathroom. As soon as we landed, went through customs, and the likes, he asked me to haul ass and grab a cab — which was extremely difficult due to the line — but we managed to “steal” one anyway.
On the way home, he checked his voicemail – told me he had one from his parents and a couple from work.
“Mom and dad say, ‘Hi’ and they hope that we had a great time,” he said.
He stayed on the phone for quite some time, listening to the voicemails. His mood, maybe accompanied by his illness, grew worse and worse.
“What’s wrong?” I asked him.
He shook his head and said, “It’s work, it’s killing me.”
We finally arrived at our apartment and my husband (still feels funny typing that…) shut himself in the bedroom. I busied myself writing Thank You letters and making phone calls.
It was about half past 10 when I knocked on the bedroom door to check on him. There was no answer. I opened the door to see him passed out on the bed. His phone was in his hands. I crawled into bed with him and kissed him on the neck.
“Are you tired?” I asked.
He opened his eyes. “Hey you. I’m sorry I’ve been so busy, there’s so much work that’s on my plate.”
“It’s okay, I just wanted to know if you were okay. Go back to sleep.”
He nodded and kissed me good night.
For the remainder of the week, he was caught up with work and came home late every night — until Friday. He didn’t come home at all.
I called his phone once every 15 minutes, then 10, then 5 and then in a fit of hysteria, I called him over and over again. The phone kept ringing and going to voicemail. I texted his phone after each time he didn’t pick up. The messages were the same.
“Where are you? Are you okay? Please pick up.”
“Hello? Where are you?”
“Please answer me, I’m very worried.”
I checked Facebook. He was last on Messenger at 10:52pm, his last message to me was, “Hey, i love u! can’t wait to see u!” It was 2:17am now, and he had been inactive for just about 4 hours.
I thought about filing a missing persons report, but wondered if there was a time limit on filing one. Could he be at a bar with his friends? Is he sleeping over at a friend’s house? Could he possibly be cheating on me? Adrenaline pumped through my veins. Frustration poured out of my ears. I shouted at the phone when he didn’t pick up for the 35th time. I sat on my couch, hoping I’d hear the door unlock.
Then, at 2:36am, he was active on Facebook messanger. The messages I sent in chat were “Seen” and so, I sent him another message.
“Hey, where the hell are you? are you ok??”
No response. The message wasn’t read. He went from idling 5 minutes to 10 minutes. I couldn’t stand it anymore.
“Baby, please answer me! Are you ok?”
I looked out the window, hoping I’d see a taxi with him leaving. The street was empty. I stared outside, hoping I’d get a glimpse of him walking up the hill, but there was no one. Whenever a car went by, I felt hope leap into my throat, my brain going into overdrive at the thought that this could possibly be him, but each time, I was let down.
At around 4am, my eyes felt heavy and I fell asleep on the couch, with my phone in my hand.
It was 9am when I woke up. Thoughts raced through my mind. Is he here? Please let him be here. I called out for him. No answer. I quickly moved into the bedroom. It was exactly how I had left it last night. No one in bed. Sheets were still made. There was no sign that he had come home. I checked my phone. No text messages, no phone calls, nothing. He was now just about 7 hours idle on Facebook chat.
Desperation crept up on me like I had never felt it before.
I called his phone again. Five rings. Voicemail. I had had enough. My body started to tremble. I dialed 9-1-1.
“911, state your emergency,” the operator said.
“Hello,” I said, my voice weak. “I’m calling to ask if I should file a missing persons report.”
“Do you want to file a report?” the voice asked.
“I’m…I’m not sure. Is there a time limit?”
“Well, your local police officer can help you with that. Would you like me to dispatch an officer to your location?”
“My husband’s been missing since last night, and I don’t know what to do. What should I do? My body is trembling. I’m really scared.”
“Ma’am, we’re here to help. Would you like me to dispatch an officer?”
“I don’t know. Should I wait? I don’t know what to do.”
“If it’ll help you ma’am, talking to an officer will help you determine if and when you can file a missing person’s report.”
“I…I think I’ll wait another hour. I’m sorry. I’m panicking right now.”
“That’s alright, ma’am. If you call back, we’ll be ready to assist you.”
My hand was trembling as I put my phone down.
I called his phone one more time. Five rings. Voicemail. Fear enveloped me this time. Is he dead? He can’t be dead. I’m going to have to call his parents. Why is this happening to me?
I opened the window. The morning air helped ease my paranoia a little bit. I took deep breaths and tried to calm my mind. I turned on the TV and all I could focus on were the accidents and deaths they were reporting. A man was assaulted in the subway late last night — could it have been my husband? And accident on the BQE backed up traffic for over a mile — was my husband in that car?
I opened up Facebook on my laptop and checked to see if he had read my messages. He was now 8 hours idle.
I sent him another message: “I miss u so much, r u ok…”
Then, all of a sudden, he was active again. My mind went on overdrive. He was typing!
“hey sorry honey, my friends ambushed me and dragged me out to a car and took me to atlantic city…..”
“im so glad you’re okay,” I typed back.
“im so sorry! they took my phone away!”
I felt both furious and relieved. He was alive.
“i just want to see u. come home, please.”
“yes, i’m on my way – those fuckers took my wallet too. forced drinks on me. their way of saying ‘congratulations’ i guess…”
“some way of showing it.”
“lol, i’m so sorry.”
He didn’t get home until late afternoon.
I had made a sandwich for myself when I heard the door unlock. It’s him!
He walked into the apartment with a sheepish smile.
“Hey… I’m really sorry.”
He looked down at the ground and back at me.
“Can I get a hug?”
“I’m going to divorce your ass,” I said and cracked a smile. I ran over to him to give him the biggest hug as relief washed over my body like never before.