Page 31: We Can’t Find Joe…Again!

Christa heard Ted’s car drive up. She peered out the side living room window from her rocker and saw Ted drive off.  She waited with anticipation to hear the back door open and the sound of Joe’s footsteps.  Seconds turned into minutes, but she didn’t hear anyone come in the house.  She got up out of her chair in the living room and walked into the kitchen.  Then she walked down the hallway and looked in Joe’s room.  No Joe.  She walked back into the living room where John was sleeping in the chair.
“John, wake up,” Christa said as she shook his arm. “Ted dropped Joe off.  I saw his car leave the yard, but Joe’s not in the house. I’m afraid he may have taken off again.”

“Huh?” John said half sleeping.

“I’m going outside to look for him,” Christa said worriedly.

Pulling himself up from his slouching position in the chair, John rubbed his eyes. “Damn it, Christa, we can’t keep living like this.  Having to watch him every minute. It’s like taking care of a baby, except he’s 40 years old!”

Christa knew that John was right, but for now she ignored him and put her shoes on. John got up out of his chair and did the same.

With flashlights in hand, John and Christa ventured outside, calling Joe’s name as they checked the barn, the sheds, and all the outside buildings.  As Christa passed the house on her way to the apple orchard, she heard the phone ringing in the house. She ran inside, hoping she would answer it before the person on the other end hung up.

Out of breath, she picked up the receiver and answered with anticipation, “Hello?”
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