I heard the loud rap at the metal door. My brother and I had just come home from a senior class party. I thought who’d be coming to the house so late at night? Mom and Dad were away on a rafting trip. My younger sister was at music camp.
We jolted out out of bed and slowly opened the door. My mom’s best friend was on the other side. Her small silhouette seemed big that night as she made her way into the bright living room. I still couldn’t believe that she was in our house without the rest of her family.
“Kids I have some bad news, so sit down.” She said it with an energy I had never known before. “There’s been an accident…” I knew this was bad.
“It seems that that your dad may be in trouble. Now, your mom is ok.”
“What do you mean dad is in trouble?” asked my brother
“Well…” I knew she was trying to hold back the tears. “It seems as if he may have drowned on their trip. We don’t have all the facts yet and there is still some hope that he’s alive.” She kept going “but because it’s night, we won’t know for sure…” she continued with details, but I couldn’t comprehend any of it.
“WHAATTTT?!?!?!” her words didn’t register. “ Where’s mom? When we will know?”
“The police should call us when it’s daylight. They need to search the river and it’s surrounding area. Until then, all we can do is wait.” Then, she left us alone with the heavy news. My head was swirling. It wouldn’t stop.
That’s when I knew that this was really bad. I knew that Dad probably wasn’t coming back. I kept thinking that this was a dream. They only said that he may be alive because they wanted to give us some sense of hope. It worked because I knew he was strong enough to pull himself out of the water and on to the nearest edge of the river that actually took him. I imagined him walking back to camp. I knew it was my head trying to rescue me.
I imagined that the next knock on the door would be dad. That he hadn’t been hurt. Everything would be as it always was. It wasn’t so. The next knock on the door wasn’t dad . It wasn’t mom. The next knock was the news we didn’t want to hear.