Shannon was one year old when she went missing. These last 12 years have been the longest years of my life. It seems like I have been looking out the same window of our living room hoping that some day, Shannon will miraculously come home.
It was June 3, 1996. Shannon and I were sitting in the dining room playing with her dolls. Her blue eyes and her blond hair matched her dolls perfectly and her tan skin was glowing in the afternoon sun. “Ring — Ring — Ring — ” the phone went. I rushed to the phone in the kitchen to try to answer it before it was too late.
I was in the kitchen talking on the phone for nearly 5 minutes. As I walked back into the dining room to play with Shannon, there wasn’t a sound to be heard besides the creaking wood floors beneath my feet. Shannon was gone. “Oh Shannon, come out come out wherever you are!” There was no sound of any kind of movement. “Oh no, what if something actually happened to Shannon, where could she possibly be?” I muttered under my breath. Frantically running around the house looking for any object that resembled Shannon, I found nothing. It all happened so fast; I had no idea what to do.
It was 30 minutes and Shannon was still missing. I was weeping, making a trail of tears all along the wood floors. I immediately picked up the phone and called 911.
“911, what is your emergency?”
“Hi, uh yes — yes. I was just talk — talking on my phone in my kitchen and my little girl, Shann…Shannon was missing when I came back. I have searched my entire house; I have no idea what I should do. Please help me — I don’t know what to do!”
“Ok, everything will be alright. Just hold on and an officer will be at your house in no time.”
“Ok — Thank you, thank you so much.”
“You’re welcome and good luck!” Mnmnmnmnm — .went the tone in the phone.
I quickly sat down and waited patiently for the officer to show up. Two minutes had passed and the blue and red lights reflected clearly off of the walls of my house. I quickly ran outside to the officer who was a tall husky man with a handle bar mustache.
“Thank God you are here — My daughter Shannon went missing in less than 5 minutes. I have looked everywhere and I can’t find her.” I continued to tell my story so that the search could continue as quickly as possible.
The cop swiftly searched the outside of the house and then the inside eventually finding nothing that resembled a one year old girl. During the search the local newspaper arrived to confirm the absence of a one year old girl. The reporter asked if I would like to place a missing ad in the newspaper. “Yes, of course, when will it be out in the newspaper?”
“By early tomorrow morning.”
“Great, thank you for coming by.”
Hours had passed and Shannon was nowhere to be found. I plopped down on the shapeless couch exhausted and discouraged. It was dark when the cops finally left, without any trace of Shannon. The summer sky was cloudless and the full moon illuminated the oak tree and the tree swing. “That was her favorite place in the whole world.” Again I started to cry. I gradually made my way to the couch and dozed into a trance.
It was around midnight and I woke to the howling of coyotes. Once again, I looked out the living room window to the swing on the oak tree.
“What? Shannon, is that you?” I mumbled to myself. On the swing was the outline of a tiny child. I quickly ran to the door and off the porch to the swing. I wrapped my arms around the swing. “Aw Shannon, you’re okay. Thank goodness you are home — You have no idea how worr — ” Something was wrong. Instead of feeling the warm flesh of Shannon, I could only feel the coarse rope and the cool breeze inside my arms.
“What? How can this be — ? I just saw you — Oh, No — ” I held the swing slowly falling asleep once again. I kept waking up at every noise I heard, with the hope that my little Shannon had returned home. She never did —