Meanwhile Alex was still waiting for Dave to arrive; it was already 3 pm and Dave said his train would arrive around noon. Alex was concerned and tried calling Dave’s cell phone but failed to get an answer; each ring lead to a voice message “Hey you’ve reached Dave Jackson, please leave your name and number and I’ll get back to you” Alex left the following message “ Hey, Dave, I know you said your train was due at noon but I haven’t heard from you, buddy, just let know when you get here, alright?” Dave was mildly annoyed first stating “Dave was never on time when I met him and he was so unreliable” but he that wasn’t the truth; he was just upset Dave was late. Alex’s wife Deborah; seeing Alex’s concern; tried her best to calm him “Well honey, trains can be late, you know, Dave will get here, ok, he said he’d be here and he will, so just try to relax and I’ll bring you a beer” said Deborah. Alex sat down in his easy chair and just relaxed; watching a college basketball game on tv. He told himself to be patient; a part of him was nervous after not seeing his friend for so many years; so much had changed; maybe this was a bad idea. 3 pm turned into 6 pm and Alex went from being annoyed to concerned; it had been six hours already and no sign of Dave; not even a phone call; sure, Dave had been late in the past but he usually at least called.
Deborah said to her husband “Honey have you tried calling Dave” “Yes!!” Alex exclaimed slamming his beer on the kitchen counter. Deborah hated to see Alex so upset. Alex raised his voice “I have left 3 messages already and he hasn’t even called back” Deborah once again trying to calm down her anxious husband “Maybe you can call someone that knows Dave. Maybe they can clue us in” Alex nodded feeling a little calmer. “Yeah I can call his sister Susan; they are pretty close” Alex was hoping somebody could givr him an idea of what happened to Dave. Maybe Dave got delayed; maybe he got the days mixed up.
Alex called and Susan picked up “Hello” said Susan in a quizzically voice obviously not recognizing the number on phone’s caller id. Or maybe she couldn’t hear well; it sound liked she was at a noisy restaurant. Alex replied “Hi, Susan this is Alex Wilson; Dave’s buddy from high school. She was confused because they never hung out during those high school years except on the occasions where Alex would stay over for dinner and he flirted with her relentlessly. She replied “Oh Alex, a blast from the past. What are you doing calling me after all these years” Mark said “ Well, it’s about Dave; I’m not sure if he told you but I invited him to my home in Seattle to visit and he was supposed to arrive today at noon and has yet to show up” This was news to Susan because she didn’t know about a trip; then again they lead both busy lives and hadn’t spoken in quite a while. She said “I had no idea about a trip although we haven’t talked in a while so….” She like Alex felt concerned because in her experience; Dave usually showed up when he said he would; he wasn’t prone to standing people up and if he was going to be late, he would have called. Yes, this was odd. Alex replied “Oh, ok. I’m just concerned because, you’re right, he would have called and I’ve left several messages and yet to get a response”. She felt even more anxious; Dave usually returned calls and promptly and would usually answer within an hour or so even if he was working. Susan stated “Well, Alex I am with my husband and the kids; we are also with my parents who talk to Dave regularly; do you want to talk to them?” “Sure” Alex replied. He could hear her put the phone down. He could hear Susan say to her parents in the distance “Mom, Dad someone wants to talk to you” They were out to dinner and the Grandparents were walking around with the kids. “Who is it?” exclaimed Susan’s father. “Some old friend of Dave’s” she replied. At this point Alex was growing impatient. “Hold on” Susan stated. “I’ll put them on speaker phone” “Hello” said Harold; Susan’s father. Alex recognized the voice but he sounded older which shouldn’t have surprised Alex but it did. Alex said “Hi, Mr. Jackson, it’s Alex Wilson; Dave’s old friend from high school” “Ohhh Alex, how are you” said Harold. He then heard Harold motion to his wife Margery to come to the phone “Hi there, Alex “said the friendly voice; she sounded the same as he remembered. “Hi Mrs. Jackson, I wanted to call you to let you know that Dave was supposed to be arriving here in Seattle at Noon and he never showed, I tried calling his cellphone and leaving messages but I haven’t heard from him. Have you talked to him in the last few days?” Margery replied “I knew he was taking a trip and a few days ago he called me from the train and said he was on his way and that he was safe; I haven’t heard anything else from him” He could hear her ask “Susan, did Dave call you” “No” replied Susan. “I haven’t talked to him in over a month” (Although she was sure it was probably longer) They all grew concerned because this wasn’t like Dave. Margie said “Alex, please let us know the moment you hear from Dave. We are going to call him right away. And if you don’t hear from Dave by tomorrow, please call us back” “Will do” replied Alex.
Margery hung up the phone with a deeply concerned look on her face. “I have a bad feeling about this” she said in a somber tone. “Mom” replied Susan. “Dave is fine, he probably got his train times mixed up or something, maybe he forgot, and please don’t tell the kids about their Uncle, I don’t to upset them during dinner” The kids were looking at the fish tank with her husband; unaware of the situation. Susan stepped outside to call her brother and got his voicemail “Dave, it’s me Susan” she said in a nervous voice. “Look I just got a call from your friend Alex saying that you were supposed to meet him in Seattle at Noon today; it’s 9 here and I guess 6 there, I dunno, but anyways you’re late and I know that’s not like you, so please call Alex, me or mom and dad, we are concerned. Love you, brother” She knew something wasn’t right and had knots her stomach but regained her composure and walked back to her family sitting at the booth. Her father gave her a look as to say “So, did he pick up?” She quietly nodded no and the just continued eating his hamburger; trying to smile for the grandkids but pacing back and forth in his mind. “Where could he be” he thought. Margery just picked at her food; growing increasingly anxious; not being able to concentrate on anything else.
After dinner when Margery and Harold came home; they called Dave again; to get the same voicemail. They too left their message “Dave, it’s your dad. We haven’t heard from you since you were on the train. Just checking to see if you made it back alright. Talk to you later, goodnight” Margery took some pills she had prescribed for anxiety; by this point she was a nervous wreck. She put on her nightgown and crawled into bed and started reading a book to calm herself down. Harold crawled into the other side of bed and let out a big sigh. He said to this wife “You know, honey if none of us hear from Dave in the next day or so, we may have to call the police” Margery perked up “The police? Do you think it’s that serious? “You don’t think someone hurt him, do you?” She was now visibly nervous. Harold tried his best to reassure her “Let’s not jump to conclusions” as he folded his glasses back into the case. “I’m sure Dave is fine but it might be an option” Margery lay down to sleep facing away from Harold said “Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that” And with that they both hoped to God they’d get an answer by morning but for now they’d just have to wait.