When her aunt didn’t come home from work, Vince began to worry.
She got off at six. Her commute took an hour, give or take depending on road conditions.
So at seven-thirty, he felt his heart beat just a little faster. Felt his palms produce a little more moisture.
Surely she would have called or contacted him by now. His aunt expected the same from him. If he was ever running late and he was expected to be somewhere at some time, he had to call. No matter what.
His mother and father passed away when he was still young. His mom died after giving birth to him. His father held out for almost a decade but losing her took a toll on his health. Physical, mental, emotional. Vince didn’t blame his dad for anything.
That’s why he came to live with his aunt, his mother’s sister.
He loved her. The thought of something happening to her was almost too much to bear.
Right before eight o’clock, Vince heard a noise from outside.
His heart rate sped up. He took shallow breaths.
Someone knocked at the door.
The thought of his aunt having a key to the house didn’t cross his mind at that second. He just needed her to be on the other side of the door.
But she wasn’t.
A man in his early fifties stood on the doorstep.
Vince furrowed his brow.
But the older man opened his mouth and started talking before Vince could say anything.
“She didn’t come into work today.”
He felt his world split open.