Caleb looked down. His own bare feet on the hardwood floor. Waiting.
But Bernard was silent.
Caleb felt his face flush with heat. His head throbbed.
Caleb heard him get up out of the chair, the weight easing off the wood. He looked up. The hands on desk clock, a round metal face inset in lucite, read 9:05 PM.
His father was standing in front of the desk, close to him. Tears wet his eyes. He was torn between reaching to embrace his son and losing himself completely in sadness. They stood about three feet apart, but a great space stretched between them.
And then he was squeezing his son's shoulders. "It's alright. She wasn't yet meant to be found, then."
He took Caleb's face in his hands, and then wrapped his arms around him. "It's alright." He felt Caleb's body loosen and give in the hug, the point of Caleb's chin rested on his shoulder.
Caleb began sobbing. He felt his whole body heaving, a torrential release. He couldn't stop.
"It's going to be OK. We'll figure it out. Tell me what happened. Caleb?"