Shantih Journal 2.1 - Page 80

Adam kept his voice level when he said, “No, his mother and I have already gone to the police. They’re barely helping. They call him a runaway.” He thought the word would stick in his throat but it didn’t. That first night they knew he was gone, when that dark heat in his stomach had settled, he felt something else surface that had made him grow white with shame. That something else was something like relief. Adam sighed. “Please, Matt. His mother and I…” He didn’t know how to finish. Matt chewed on the inside of his cheek, thinking. Some part of him must have been struggling with his loyalty to Denny and that made Adam feel like grabbing onto Matt’s shoulders and shaking the boy. Tell me the truth! he wanted to shout. He remembered the polar bears and their black dark noses. “Whoa, Dad,” Denny had said. When Denny was a little kid, he read on the back of a cereal box that if a human were to eat the liver of polar bear, they would die because humans were not meant for all that Vitamin A. His tongue had grazed the pink flesh in the spot where his front tooth used to be. He had held out the box, pointing at it with his spoon. “Check this out.” Whoa, Dad. Adam could feel Matt weakening. “Is he still in Cherry Hill?” he prodded and the boy shook his head. “Is he still in New Jersey?” As the silence deepened, so did Adam’s heart in his chest. Finally, Matt said, “I don’t really know for sure. But there’s this house. It’s empty, kinda falling down. Some people go there just to hang out or when they need a place to crash or whatnot.” Adam didn’t want to know what “whatnot” YX[ 8'\H\]'BX]ZY 8'[K'BY[HZY 8'[K'BH\[YH^HY[ۙH[H]\\HYX\YܙK[]\X]\H[Z[YX]HY[H]\][H܂\\^K[HY[YHH[YK\\ܛY ۙK]ܙ