When Jaren ran away, I knew things would go downhill. And fast. He was the glue that held our group together and his absence was shocking. I found myself drifting like I was lost at sea without an anchor. I didn’t know what to do or where to go. Until today, I hadn’t realized how much Jaren meant to me and how few times I had told him. Had I ever actually told him?
The realization that I had maybe never told Jaren how much he meant to me started to haunt me. Not only was he missing, but maybe if I had told him how important he was to me, maybe he would still be here. Instead, I had run him off and would probably never see him again.
I was hoping he would return soon so I could resume real life and tell him how crucial he was to my continued existence. I wasn’t functioning to my normal capacity.
“Why are you so jumpy today? What’s going on?” I was so surprised by my mother I ran into the fridge. Again.
“It’s Jaren. He’s missing. It’s my fault.”
To my surprise, my mother started laughing. A laugh that turned into more of a cackle and I stared at her in surprise. Maybe she hadn’t heard me correctly? As she walked away, all I could think about how she had to know where Jaren was and what had happened to him. So maybe it wasn’t my fault after all.