Today is the seventh day.
My mother and father are beyond sick. My uncle and his wife have been a big help. Many neighbors and people, some whom we donâ€™t even know, are helping us search. But today is almost over and the sky has already begun to turn orange. As I look up I see a cloudless twilight. Soon it will be pitch black again and I am fearful that my little brother will to have spend another night alone; yet another night alone out in these woods.
Seven days ago my little brother and I were playing wiffle ball in our backyard. We had wrote out the lineups of our favorite teams. As usual, we were playing out fantasy scenarios of a world-series game 7. Most of those games start out were I run the score up and I really beat his butt early on. But in the fifth inning I start to ease off and let Bobby make a miraculous comeback. He would end up winning and I would call him the â€śComeback-Kidâ€ś. But over the past week Iâ€™ve been giving a lot of thought to those wiffle ball games. I wonder if Bobby knew I was intentionally letting him win? This summer alone weâ€™ve played probably two or three games a day.
I wonder if we will ever be able to play that game again.
During our last game which was a week ago, in the sixth inning, I went inside the house to go to the bathroom. Bobby had waited outside, he was due up to hit. I remember seeing him tossing the ball up to himself then swinging the bat at the ball. He was doing his own little practice at-bats. He told me to hurry up as I ran inside. But I had also gone up to my room to check my email. I was awaiting a response from this girl in my geometry class about things that now seem so incredibly meaningless. I wasnâ€™t gone for more than ten minutes. But when I went back outside, Bobby was gone. I called out his name a few times. We live out in the country; so our backyard is fairly large. I walked around outside looking for him. I went back inside and checked the living room; he wasnâ€™t watching TV. My mom asked how we were doing and that was when I finally started to panic. I told her we were doing fine; hoping Iâ€™d find Bobby in the basement or up in one of the bedrooms. Nope, he just simply wasnâ€™t there. I kept Bobbyâ€™s disappearance a secret for almost half an hour. It took me that long to finally search inside and outside. It took me that long to work up the nerve to admit that he was gone. At first when I told my mom about Bobbyâ€™s disappearance she didnâ€™t believe me. It took her only ten minutes of searching to finally go full-blown hysterical. She called my father at work and he was home within fifteen minutes; even though he works a half hour away from home. They just kept asking me the same questions; over and over again.
â€śHow long did you leave him alone?â€ť
â€śDid he say anything to you before you went inside?â€ť
â€śDid you see anyone anywhere, anyone suspicious?â€ť
â€śHow could he just disappear?â€ť
We went back outside to where we had been playing wiffle ball. It was then that I discovered that the bat was still there, but the ball was nowhere to be seen.
I wanted to find Bobby so incredibly bad. I was, after all, the last person to see him.
The police had warned us that the first 48 hours after a abduction were the most crucial. During the first few days of the search for Bobby; no one slept. We combed the woods around our house. My uncle called his friends to help look, my dad had his co-workers come to help look, my mother had her friends from the library come over to search too. Police had come in from four different counties; each with their own dog. They let the K-9s sniff around in Bobbyâ€™s room. They sniffed Bobbyâ€™s clothing, sniffed Bobbyâ€™s shoes, and they even sniffed Bobbyâ€™s pillow in order to pick up his scent. Each morning at the crack of dawn our massive group of searchers, wonderers, and high-hopefuls would setout; all in different directions. My father had purchased 3 boxes of walkie-talkies, flashlights and compasses. We were all connected. Assuring none of us were to be left out of the loop. Assuring that none of us would get lost. Those first two days flew by rather fast. We would all search the full woods, the deep woods, the ever-growing dark woods until twilight time. The police insisted that we do not search at night, the risks were too high to have another major setback.
On the third day some of my Uncleâ€™s friends had not shown to help search.
On the fourth day all of my fatherâ€™s co-workers hadnâ€™t shown up.
On the fifth day the police had dwindled down to just the local jurisdiction.
On the sixth day my father held my mother on the floor of Bobbyâ€™s room while she cried and carried on hysterically for 3 hours. They slept that night in Bobbyâ€™s room; right there on the floor. I donâ€™t understand how they could even be in his room. Since his disappearance I canâ€™t even look inside Bobbyâ€™s room. It has such a tragic and strange glow to it. The absence of Bobby makes the room seem empty; even though all of his things are still in there. My parents had come to the unsettling decision that someone had taken Bobby from us. But how? And who? We heard no cars that day and our driveway is long and lined with dirt. The dust that would have been kicked up from a vehicle could have been easily viewable; given how short of a time Bobby was left alone.
Vincent S. Tobia