The day he ran away

I am at the doctor’s office again. The antibiotics he’d previously given me have done nothing, and my temperature has been skyrocketing up to 40 degrees for the better part of a week. He does a few more checks and decides to put me on Prednisolone and some heavy duty antibiotics.

“If you don’t get any better by Saturday, we’ll need to get some x-rays and do some swabs to see what’s going on,” he informs me. I ask him for a medical certificate – hubby has been having to stay home to look after me and the children because I can barely move. “It’s not just me, but my seven-year-old with Autism. He likes to climb fences and play on the road, and there is no way I can watch him right now.” We get the certificate, and I double over coughing as we leave the office.

Back in the car I reach for my asthma inhaler – I can barely breathe, it feels like I’m drowning in my own saliva, and I think I’ve cracked some ribs from the horrendous coughing spells. The sinus pain fills me and I can feel my temperature starting to climb again from the exertion. Hubby decides to take me home first before going back to the chemist to get my scripts filled. I am too hazy to pay any attention on the short drive home, until we get to the top of our street, and see our 13yo standing beside our driveway, scanning the street. “Oh no” I manage to gasp out.

We pull up in the driveway, “He’s gone?” I ask. She nods and tells me that they can’t find BuddyBoy – they’ve looked in the usual spots and up the side street, but no sign of him. Hubby comes around the car while I manage to stagger out, and I see our neighbour coming up the street. I point to his car and drag out, “Ask him to look in his yard”, before I have a coughing fit, so hubby flags him down and explains the situation. Our neighbour takes off up his driveway to look around his house and yard – which like most in the area is on several acres and full of trees.

My mum is standing there now, looking out of breath and worried. Someone tells me to get inside the house before I collapse – I manage to get in the house but turn around again. I can’t stay inside while my baby is gone, I have to find him. Something pulls me down the road in the direction of the cemetery on the other side of our street. I stop every few steps for a coughing fit and gasp for air when I come back up. Tears have collected in my face and I only just realise that I’m praying out loud, “Please God, don’t let me lose my baby, please, no”. A couple of cars drive down the street and I panic, knowing that my boy has no sense of danger around cars. “The cars, God, no, not that!”

I see my girls and my mum searching around our yard – nothing. I stumble a few more steps before hubby catches up with me – no sign. “Shall I ring the police?” I ask – he pauses for a second and then agrees. I sob out loud – admitting that our boy has gone so far that we now have to organise a police hunt for him. “God, no, don’t, help me find him please.” I am alone again as everyone else is searching, and I take one last look at the rise of the road where I had been heading, knowing that I won’t be able to drag myself up there. I turn around and hear a noise behind me. “What’s that?!” I cough out. My 15yo comes up behind me – “Sounded like BuddyBoy.” she says.

I see a flash of blonde hair on the other side of the road, at the crest of the hill where I had been heading. “There he is,” she calls out, and runs off in his direction. I look back towards the house and see hubby getting in the car and skidding off towards our boy. I turn back around in time to see my precious son run across the road blindly. There is a car coming up the other side of the hill, “No!!” I feel like I scream but nothing comes out – I have no air left, no voice with which to scream.

In slow motion, I see my daughter run over and grab him by the arm, and drag him off the road. Hubby is there in the car now, and the oncoming car has stopped in the middle of the road. I collapse on the spot, unable to move or breathe. “Thank you God”.


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