Mrs. P and Sarah were having a great time, listening to Christmas carols and making a card for Kate. Then Mrs. P brought out the sugar cookies she made at home and the items needed to frost and decorate them. Sarah had fun eating as many decorations as those that made it on the cookies. Buttons made himself useful by eating the crumbs off the floor.
“Now it’s bath time, Sarah. Help me put away the cookies to dry and you can have another one tomorrow.”
“Okay,” she said, sliding off the stool. “I had fun!”
“I’m glad. You made some pretty cookies for mommy.” Mrs. P moved the cookies to a tray on the counter and wiped off the area where Sarah had worked. “Now, let’s get you into your pajamas and I’ll read you a story.”
“Yay! I know just which one.”
It wasn’t until after getting Sarah into bed and watching half a movie that Mrs. P realized how late it was getting. Kate had said she’d be home around nine. It was now almost ten. She didn’t worry yet, but was a little concerned.
But by a quarter after ten, she started to get nervous. She picked up her phone and dialed Kate’s number but there was no answer. She didn’t know what to do. She knew it was snowing out and hoped that it wasn’t a factor. Mr. P got up and turned the balcony light on, watching the snow flakes come down. At least an inch and a half was collected on the balcony railing.
Mrs. P checked on Sarah, but she was snoring softly on her little bed in Kate’s room. Then she checked Button’s bowls to make sure he was okay with his food and water. Mrs. P was checking on all her chicks and this worried her. Something must be wrong.
She knew Spencer was at work, and didn’t have that number. She had Spencer’s cell number though and called him to see if she should worry yet.
She had to leave a voicemail, but that wasn’t unusual. She sat on the sofa, petting Buttons and trying not to think the worst. At least Sarah was safely tucked into bed and didn’t know any different.
By the time the news was over, Mrs. P’s nervousness ratcheted up a knot. She started pacing in the living room and still hadn’t heard from Kate or Spencer. Just then the phone rang and Mrs. P answered it with dread.
“What’s up?” Spencer asked.
“Oh, thank goodness, Spencer. I’m watching Sarah and Kate hasn’t come home yet, should I be worried?”
Mrs. P plopped back onto the sofa.
“What time did she say she’d be home?” He eyed the clock on the wall above his desk, realizing how late it was. His shift had been busy with the snow coming down.
“She said around nine, and it’s nearly eleven. I tried her phone but got no answer.”
“I’ll check into it, Mrs. P. Stay calm and I’ll call back as soon as I can. You alright otherwise?”
“Fine, fine. Just let me know if you hear anything.”
Mrs. P clicked through the channels on Kate’s TV, not really paying attention to what showed on the screen. She settled on a cooking show, not paying that much attention to it.
Nearly thirty minutes later, Spencer called back.
“This is what I know; she and the girls had dinner and left about eight. Jen said Kate was going to stop at the drug store, which shouldn’t have taken long. That means Kate is in some kind of trouble or an accident. I made inquiries with the Fairview Heights and Belleville police stations to see if they know anything.”
“My goodness. I hope she’s okay.” Mrs. P worried a thread on her blouse.
“Me too. I’ll call you back as soon as I hear anything.”
“Thank you Spencer, I’m glad I called.”
“You did the right thing. Do you need me to take you home?”
“I’m okay, don’t worry about me.”
“Alright. Talk to you soon.”
Will Kate be okay???