Everyone but me held their breath. I just looked at her. She whispered "Please..."
I didn't think it through. I didn't worry about the ramifications. I just said "Sure." Her grin and the hug that followed were nice. Almost nice enough to silence the voice in my head that told me I was an idiot. She pulled back, looked at me, and said "I wasn't sure if you would." I shrugged, and said "Hell Carol. It's what I do." The chorus was making a big deal of it and they were all grinning from ear to ear. I thought about how badly dental hygiene had slipped since PowerDown. I was glad when they turned it down a notch or two.
"So Carol. Where is he?" I asked. I don't know why but I figured he was in the next town over.
"I don't know."
"Oh. Okay. You have a rough idea?"
"Sort of. I think he is east of here." She waited a beat. "About a hundred miles." She was starting to look a little anxious.
"Okay. You got a picture?" I asked her. She looked down, her hair fell forward, I wanted to brush it back, she said "No. I lost all my pictures."
I thought "Well, this is going to be a little more difficult than I thought. I was also getting a little bit irritated. I fought to keep it out of my voice and said calmly "Can you describe him? Does he have any distinguishing marks? Scars?" She must have heard the irritation in my voice because she said defensively "I will recognize him!" I thought about that for a couple of beats, then I said quietly "You're not going. If I do this. I do it alone. Think about it. He has to have a scar or something. Do you have anything of his he would recognize?"
She stared at me. Her eyes welling up. I thought "Jeebus" That was followed by a sick feeling and the thought that maybe she was right. Maybe she had lost it. I stood up and said "I have to relieve Loco. Think about it. Give me something to work with." Then I turned away and went to find Loco.