Leah hung on every ring of the phone, desperately hoping that Evan would answer the phone. The voicemail took over the call. Leah had grown accustomed to hearing the monotone synthetic voice that always answered when she called her son. She heard the tone “Hey Ev, it’s mom…. again. I wanted to know if you were still coming for dinner tonight. So, call me back Ev… I hope you’re ok. I miss you, and I love you. Talk to you soon.” She hung up the phone.

Leah fought back her tears again, this had become second nature to her now. She sat up on the couch and made her way to the kitchen and began cooking dinner. Although Leah knew her son would not be there, she always made enough food for him “just in case” she would tell her husband.

Evan and his mother had always been close. Leah had him when she was twenty-one years old, and she had to fill both the role of mother and father for Evan. He had walked her down the aisle at the age of eight when she married the man who would become his stepfather. Leah still kept plenty of pictures of Evan all around the house, most of which were of him while he was younger. As Evan grew older his appearance in family photos rapidly diminished. Leah preferred the pictures of Evan as a child because no matter how old he became, he would always be her baby.

Throughout the evening Leah would check her phone obsessively. She would envision a message from Evan, it would read “Hey mom! Sorry, I couldn’t get to the phone earlier I was at work. I’m running a bit late but I will be there. See you soon mom.” That dream would not be her reality tonight. As she cleaned the dishes she glanced at the sky through the window; the sky dark, clear, and littered with stars that seemed to only be visible to her. A fleeting feeling of relief came over her, “Please be okay” she whispered as she continued to wash the dishes.

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