That Amanda had vanished into his dream sent Caleb into a free-falling panic, as if he had fallen into a narrow deep well. He placed his hands along the damp cement sides.
Standing in the empty street draped in darkness, even the moon and stars had abandoned him.
He walked - forcing one foot in front the the other - onto the front steps.
The door yanked open. His father's eyes wide and crazed.
"Caleb! Jesus, where did you two go? It's past midnight!" Bernard grabbed his shoulders and squeezed. "Good lord, don't do that to me."
He hung his head, and waited. "Dad -- ."
Bernard looked at him, and then past him, to the empty front porch. His eyes shifted back to Caleb. He met his father's gaze.
"Where is she?" he said quietly.
Caleb shrugged. "I don't know. She's with mom, I think."
His father's open hand cracked against his cheek, and Caleb's face jerked sidewards. Heat spread across his cheek. Caleb looked up at his farther.
"Don't you ever say that. Ever."