Just a Small Town Girl: 37 – A Close Call

part37

Daisy was starting to close up the shop for the night, Thursdays were not that busy so starting to wind down at 5:30 versus 6:00 was not that big of a deal.  She had already turned on the display lights and cashed out the drawer and locked up the safe.  She was going to be leaving right at 6:00 to go to dinner with the potential buyers for her store and if she was going to make the dinner reservation at 7:00 and deal with the traffic, she could not be held up.  Her phone rang, it was the gentleman she was meeting for dinner, he wanted to confirm they were still on.  She let him know she was ready to leave as soon as the store is closed and she confirmed the restaurant details.

As she was just starting to lock the door, Melody tried to enter the shop, “Mel, can I call you while I drive, I have an appointment, and I have to leave right now!”  Melody seemed a bit perplexed but agreed and walked away, “I promise, I’ll call you in a few minutes.”

Daisy locked the front door and then ran through the store to the back, setting the alarm and then locking the back door.  She got into her car and started it; it had been acting up lately and of course, it began to sputter as she took off.  She just prayed it would get her to dinner and on time.  Once she got on the two-lane highway, she dialed Melody’s number.

“Hi, Mel, sorry, I wasn’t trying to blow you off I have a meeting I am heading off to.”

“Where are you going?  I haven’t seen you in days, I’ve been worried about you.”

“Yeah, I’ve just been keeping a low profile that’s all.  With everything that has happened in the last few weeks, I just don’t feel like socializing.”

“Obviously, Tangie and Alexis have been asking about you. They heard about Chris, they are upset that you didn’t tell them.”

“How did they find out?”  She had a bit of panic as well as a bit of anger in her voice.

“Alexis heard about it down at the courthouse from the receptionist at the Sheriff’s office.  She told her about you coming in and getting Chris out of jail and dressing down Michael.  Then Alexis told Tangie and then they came into the café and told me.  By the way, you didn’t even tell me about that story!”

“Sorry, it happened right before Chris left and it wasn’t something I wanted to dwell on.  So they want all the gossip I guess?  I am sure they are dying to call the tabloids and say they know some scoop.”  She was angry and bitter, and she knew deep down that her friends would not do that to her.

“No, but they are concerned about you.  I did fill them in on how you and Chris met and what happened; including his leaving.  They are here for you and want to help in any way.”

“Have you talked to him, Mel?”

“No, I haven’t,” this wasn’t entirely true, but she couldn’t tell Daisy everything.  She had promised Chris that she would keep it quiet, and she was sticking to that promise.  “So, have you?”

“No, I sent him a text on our one week anniversary and he sent me an ugly reply.  I haven’t texted or talked to him since.  I called Violet yesterday, and she said he hasn’t sent the divorce papers back yet.  I’m not calling and asking for them, I’m letting him go on his timetable right now.”

“Daisy, are you going to answer me?  Where are you going?  What meeting are you off to?”

“I have a business meeting in Springwood, so I had to rush out the door to get there on time.”

“Springwood?  What in the hell?  Daisy that is a long drive for you to do at night.”

“It is fine, I am almost here, and I will head straight home when I am done.  Thanks for checking on me, I’ll be okay, and I will talk to you soon,” Daisy hung up and pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant.  She was early, luckily the traffic had been light, and she was able to maintain the speed limit and actually go a little over.  She had enough time to check her makeup and freshen her lipstick before going in for dinner.

~ * ~

Scott watched as Chris went into the kitchen and then he stepped into his mother’s office.  He could hear their voices raise as they argued but he couldn’t discern what they were saying.  He just kept playing with the kids; they didn’t seem to understand what was going on.

Scott closed the door behind him, “Ma, are you and Chris going to be alright?”

“Have you really met this girl? What’s her name, Daisy?”

“Yeah, I have, and she is fantastic.  I told Chris the day I met her that he needed to marry her.  She is spunky and sweet, and he couldn’t take his eyes off of her.  I kept asking him all day if he had a crush on her.”

“Where did he take her to dinner?”  Lisa figured that was a real sign of his level of interest.

“We ate at the park, and he pulled strings – we ate at Club 33.”

“Wow!  Ok, so he was smitten.  I just don’t think he could have fallen for her that quick.  Your brother has dated for years and has never wanted to settle down and now all of a sudden he is crazy about a girl and is fighting to stay married.  Come on Scott, you have to think this is weird.”

“I’m telling you, I’ve never seen him like this with anyone else, ever!  The two of them are magic when they are together, and there is no doubt that it is real, and he is in deep.  When he left her and came back to LA, I’ve never seen him so tore up.  He hates what he is doing, but he honestly thinks it is the only way he is going to get her back,” he waited to let his words sink in.  “Mom, if you keep pushing for him to give up on this and don’t support what he is doing, you’re going to push him away.  If you make him choose between you and Daisy – Daisy wins.”

Scott could tell that his mother did not like what he had to say, but she had to hear it.  He turned and left the room, leaving her with her thoughts.  He joined Chris in the living room with the kids; all of the troubles with Daisy were forgotten as they played with the kids on the floor.

~ * ~

Her business dinner had lasted longer than she had anticipated.  It was 10:30 as she was leaving the restaurant and beginning to head back towards home.  Unfortunately, it had rained heavily while she was inside and the road she came in on was now closed due to high water.  There was an alternate way home, it was a little longer, and it was a less traveled road.  Daisy hated going that way because she wasn’t as familiar with it and she always worried that if something happened she would be stranded.

She was about fifteen minutes into the drive when her fears came to pass.  The sputtering that her engine had been doing earlier had started again and this time, the car completely died.  No warning lights came on, the car just died.  She checked, and she had gas, this was not a case of running out of fuel.  She picked up her phone to dial her dad for help, and her phone had no signal.  She didn’t know if it was because of the clouds and storm or if it was truly a dead zone.  There was no traffic out on the road, and she had no way of getting anyone’s attention.  She had flares in the trunk but what good would they do her if there were no other vehicles out to see them?

Her saving grace, if you could call it that, was that it was May, and the weather was not frigid cold.  She had just eaten so she wasn’t going to starve but she was, without a doubt, stranded.  She could not see if there were houses nearby and at this hour of the night there was no way she was going to knock on doors.  She sheltered in place, locked the car doors and prayed for headlights or daylight.

~ * ~

It was 7 am, and Melody noticed that Daisy had not yet come into the store.  This was odd, Daisy was normally in at this time, especially lately.  She dialed her cell, and it rang with no answer, eventually going to voicemail.  She left a message and then quickly called Mike, who was on patrol out in the area of Daisy’s house, to see if he had seen her car.  He told her that he had not and that her car was not in the driveway.  He offered to drive up to her parent’s house to see if the car was there; but he called back ten minutes later saying it wasn’t.

At 8 am with still no sign of Daisy, Melody was starting to get anxious. Daisy had still not returned her voicemail message, and every other call to her cell had gone straight to voicemail without ringing.  Mike was keeping an eye open for her and was patrolling near the county line.

Several people came into the café, and Melody heard them talking about the storms from the night before and the horrible flooding in Springwood.  This made Melody sick, this is where Daisy was and if there was flooding – crap, she just knew this meant something horrible had happened.  She went to her office and called Mike and gave him this information, asking him to call the Sheriff in Springwood to see if they could look for Daisy.  He was also going to inform Daisy’s parents of the fact that she was missing.

Melody dialed the number to let someone else know what was going on,  “Hi, Chris, I’m sorry to call you and bother you, but I need to talk to you.”

“What’s wrong Mel, has something happened?”  He began to panic because he could tell by the sound of her voice that something was not right.

“It’s Daisy, Chris, she’s missing.”

“What do you mean she’s missing, Mel?  When was the last time someone talked to her?”

“I spoke to her a little before 7 last night, she was driving to a neighboring town for a business meeting.  Evidently she didn’t come home last night because she didn’t come to work this morning.  Mike has driven past her house, and her car wasn’t there or at her parent’s house.  She isn’t answering her cell phone, and it just goes to voicemail.”

“What business meeting?  And why was she going to a neighboring town alone?  What in the hell?  Is Mike looking for her?”  As he raised his voice, his family watched him carefully.  Especially his mother, she could tell that he was scared.

“She went to Springwood, and we just heard there were bad storms there last night and flooding..”

He cut her off before she could finish, “Jesus, Melody she could have drowned by now and you guys wouldn’t know because you weren’t fucking looking for her.  Oh my, God, you have to find her.”

“We’re looking, Chris, I swear.  Mike has contacted the Sheriff out there, and they have an APB out on her car, and they are searching.  I will call you as soon as I know something.”

Chris hung up the phone and collapsed on the couch, tears in his eyes.  Lisa walked in and sat next to him, taking his hand, “What happened?”

“She went to some meeting last night, and she’s disappeared – no one knows where she is.  No answer on her cell, they can’t find her car, the town she went to evidently had severe flooding,” he couldn’t look at his mom, and he was struggling to keep from breaking down.

She pulled him toward her and into a hug and at that point he broke.  It was at this moment that she realized how much her son was in love with Daisy.  She sent up her own prayer that Daisy would be found safe because she did not think he could handle it if the news were not favorable.

~ * ~

Daisy was getting antsy, she had no idea how far away she was from any landmark, and she still had no signal on her phone.  She had tried starting the car, and it wouldn’t even make a sound.  She had hoped someone would drive by, but not a single car or truck had gone by.  She was beginning to believe that she would die alone on this desolate stretch of road.

Suddenly she saw a flash, at first she thought she was hallucinating.  But it was getting closer and then, it was in front of her, a cruiser – a police cruiser!  She jumped out of her car and met the officer half way between the vehicles.

“Ma’am, would you happen to be Mrs. Daisy Evans?”

Oh, how she loved to hear that name, Evans.  “Yes!  I am Daisy Evans, and I am so thankful you found me.”

“Well, you are lucky ma’am.  This road is closed from the south, and I guess you got on it from the north before they closed it.  Did you have car trouble?”

“No wonder I never saw any cars!  My car just died, I was going to go home the other route, but it was closed due to flooding as well, and I came down this way, and it just died, and I had no signal on my phone to call for help.”

“Well, the Sheriff in your town has been looking for you as well as your friends and the Boston Police have been calling us for regular updates.  Who do you know in Boston?”

“My husband is from there, he must be home visiting his family when he got the call about me.”

“Ah, well, let me call this in and get a tow truck out here.  Give me a minute, okay?”

~ * ~

Chris quickly answered the phone, “Has she been found safe, Mel?”

“Yes, her car died, and she was on a road that had been closed due to flooding.  She was not in water, she was not in danger, but her car was dead.  She has been towed back to town, and she got a rental car and is on her way back home now.”

“Oh thank God, I appreciate you calling and letting me know.”

“Chris, she knows you had the Boston Police getting updates.”

“I don’t care, I was worried sick, and I am not ashamed to tell her that.  Have you talked to her?”

“No, but the police officer who found her, he called her Daisy Evans.  You’ll be happy to know she didn’t argue or correct him.”

Chris smiled and thanked her for that.  He hung up and gave the good news to everyone, Daisy was safe and on her way back to her house.

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