He couldn't bring himself to tell his dad or sister that it was all his fault. But was it really? Yes.
Caleb stayed in bed as long as he could, clenching his pillow with tight fists, wishing it all away. He heard the low rumble of his Dad's voice on the phone in the kitchen downstairs. He was waiting to hear her voice. Caleb rolled out of bed. He slowly walked past Amanda's room, where she was still sleeping ("such a good little sleeper," his mom used to say), and then padded down the steps in his slippers. He stood quietly as Bernard called his aunt and his grandmother, and later on the police.
"She was lying next to me when I fell asleep last night, and when I woke up she was gone."
There really wasn't much more to say. There was no sign of a break-in. No note, no explanation. No bag had been packed taken. Her purse and phone were left sitting on the kitchen counter. Nothing was out of place or missing. Except her.
"Dad? Is she coming back?"
-- (He didn't know, so he said nothing)
"Yes, Caleb," he said, looking at me. His blue eyes were a dull pale. He only seemed half there.
"Dad, what do we do now?"
-- (He didn't know.)
There wasn't anything to do.
The weeks passed, and nothing. Bernard was broken. He rarely spoke. Life kept on, but with the color drained out of it, a gaping hole where his mother had been.