So he was told to call by 7pm since it's a school night. The past half dozen times he's gone out he's either called late or else called on time to wheel and deal more time out of his night so I made it perfectly clear and insisted he acknowledge that he understood me when I said to call no later than 7. And when he's late it's never more than 30 minutes.
So 7 came and went, but no phone call.
At 7:19 the one person he knows who drives called looking for him. That's one person he wasn't off someplace with at least.
At 7:30 i started getting angry and had my other son call down the road to his friends' house to see what's going on. No answer. Other son suggested perhaps older boy would call at 8pm and claim that he had thought that he was supposed to call at that time, so I thought perhaps he was a little shit and that was accurate.
8pm came and went. So did our patience.
We were now very angry and a little worried. Other son called several friends to see if anyone knew anything. Nobody did.
8:30pm came. He was now 90 minutes late and it was dark out. We live in a rural area with long stretches of no houses and no streetlights. We began to get extremely worried. I called the biggest local Emergency Room and asked whether they had any unidentified teenage boys. They did not.
I called the local small town police and asked if they had any incidents with teenage boys in my town tonight. They assured me there were no incidents, complaints, nor accidents. I was half relieved to be crossing things off the list, and half afraid that I would never find him if he wasn't in an ER or police station at this point.
It was now 8:45pm. My husband and other son went out looking for him. I waited by the phone, and got online to listen to the online police scanner for the area, praying that I wouldn't hear anything about my son. I heard a call about a man passed out on a front lawn, one about a man bleeding from the ears with no known reason, and one about a woman in active seizure. Nothing that could be my son. I was relieved... but still so worried.
At 9:00 my husband called to say he hasn't seen him and to ask if I heard from him. I hadn't.
At 9:25 my husband and son got back home - but still without finding older boy. He was now missing for two and a half hours. I immediately called the second biggest ER in the area. They didn't reassure me as quickly - they wanted his name first, and took their time letting me know he wasn't there. Called the next nearest town's police department. They didn't have any unidentified teenage boys in accidents or incidents.
I spent the next fifteen minutes (which seemed like an hour) desperately searching the phone book and online for the phone number to the last local ER but couldn't find it anyplace - just one central number to a phone line that probably shut down at 5pm. After fifteen useless frantic minutes I was panicked and asked my husband to please call information and get the damn number and call for me. He called information, got the number, called it... and was greeted with "Plate Glass Company!". He called information again, now more agitated and rushed, and finally got the right number, and was relieved to find that our son was not in the final possible hospital.... but where WAS HE??
We called his friend one last time but got no answer. My husband put my middle son back in the car and said that they were going down there and pounding on the door until someone answered and if it didn't work they were going searching again. I waited and waited and waited. I finally called the state troopers and they told me that I should speak to a trooper ASAP and to call back if he wasn't found this time and they'd send out a patrol to get his description and what he was wearing and stuff. This was my worst nightmare coming true.
Twenty minutes later, I heard my husband arrive... and as the front door opened to the house, I heard my husband say "we got him!"
The boy stumbled in... he and his friend had fallen asleep. They slept thru all the phone calls, the banging on the door. The friend's sister had gotten home and was there this time to answer the door and tell middle boy to go in and jump on them to wake them up, saying her brother sleeps like a dead person.
I was speechless. Speechless. Relieved. Furious. Incredulous.
Oldest boy went to bed in short order, claiming exhaustion but no doubt wanting to avoid more drama. On his way to his own bedroom, middle boy complained offhandedly that one of his ears was bothering him. He's a dirty boy in general, and has bad seasonal allergies, so I figured I'd just pull mom-rank and make him let me q-tip his ear for him. As I was cleaning his ear out, still silent and speechless from the evening for the most part, he commented, ""i'm starting to build up an immunity or tolerance or something because now you can stick it further in there and it doesn't... like... make my throat feel weird anymore".
So I said, "I would love to be banned".
Needless to say he just about shit himself with laughter, and I apologetically explained that I don't often get a setup like that. Then I started to laugh.
All's well that ends well I guess.