Today I located a woman I knew for almost fifteen years. We lived in the same neighborhood. Our children played together and went to the same schools. I may try to call her but I’m not sure I should.
She was a lovely woman. I inspired her to start sewing and she became an accomplished seamstress.
She had an equally lovely daughter, who I watched grow from a little girl into a young woman. Loser and I eventually moved to another state and consequently, we lost touch.
I heard that she and her then husband had divorced but I didn’t hear anything more.
Seven years after we moved, I left Loser and went back to Florida. While waiting for the closing of my house, I was flip-flopping from my oldest daughters’ house to my middle daughters’ house.
It was my middle daughters’ turn to “put up with mom” so I was making the drive to her house. It was probably a good thirty miles between their houses.
I was sitting in traffic and I noticed a car in the next lane. It was a Hummer with a hot pink sticker on the back window. I distinctly remember thinking “I didn’t think people drove those cars anymore” (due to the high cost of gasoline.)
When I got to my daughters’ house, she asked me if I had heard about “Michelle.” I told her that I had heard about a young woman named Michelle, who disappeared right after she was on an episode of “Judge Judy.”
My daughter said “it’s OUR Michelle.”
I was flabbergasted. I hadn’t paid much attention to the news because I was too grief-stricken over the turn my life had taken. I started watching the news and I heard them talking about her Hummer (which they found a few days later.) Again, I was dumbstruck. I told my daughter I had seen that Hummer on the way to her house.
I wondered if I should call the police. We were meeting somebody so I delayed but saw an officer while we were out. I went up to him and told him what I had seen…but he didn’t seem to care. He didn’t ask me any questions or act at all interested.
I often wonder if maybe I had paid more attention to the news instead of being selfish and thinking only about “me”, I might have been able to help. I didn’t know it was her car…but I should have.
She might have been tied up in that car. Evidence might have been in that car. I could have called the police and told them where it was.
I will forever be haunted by this. I will forever regret not paying attention. I will forever feel guilty for not helping a mother potentially not have to grieve the loss of her child.
Michelle has never been found.