The sun started to go down and a dusky comforting light fell over the beach, Annie had been sat for a few hours, her mind in a scattered panic, yet it also was calculating what she needed to do. It was a good job the beach had been quiet that afternoon and she had been left undisturbed. Looking at the time, she noted in a cold way that it was four thirty, standing up stiffly from sitting so long on the hard solid rock, she rubbed her bottom to get some life back into it, and stretched her legs and slowly started to walk, by the time she had got back to the cottage she was hungry, tired and feeling depressed. Switching on the kettle for a hot drink, she went to her handbag and took out her mobile phone and text Laura and Wayne to ring her or let her know when she could ring them in private. The kettle boiled and switched off with aloud click, mechanically she took the coffee jar and put a spoonful in, added her two spoons of sugar and poured the boiling water, all done like a robot. The milk splashed into the cup and she stirred slowly, as if each rotation of the spoon in the cup was a thought going through her mind. The spoon rattled against the mug the sound echoing in the silence of the kitchen. Eventually she discarded the spoon onto the work surface and headed into the living room. The phone rang, Annie jumped and panic set in, slowly picking up the phone the relief of hearing Wayne’s voice, made her burst into tears. ‘What’s up Mum?’ then realising that she was crying said angrily ‘I take it dads been on the phone!’ calming herself down she told him that she was too frightened to come home, and at the moment she didn’t know what she was going to do. Wayne listened and she could hear the anger in his voice as he replied ‘mum I have moved out, I don’t want you to come back to Pershore, we need to get you sorted, is it ok if I come down tomorrow night and stay over, we can chat and figure stuff out’ it all came out in a rush and took Annie a moment to take it all in ‘that would be lovely Wayne’ they chatted for a few minutes and finished with a see you tomorrow, Annie was looking forward to seeing her son though she still didn’t know what was her best course of action.
As she sat in front of the television, her mind was a mass of chaotic thoughts, she kept looking at the time and worrying that Laura hadn’t answered her text or rang. The night dragged on, the hours seeming never ending; she had sent another text, but still no reply or call from Laura. In the end she sent Wayne a text, he replied immediately and told her not to worry he will catch Laura on her way to work in the morning. It didn’t stop her worrying; her mind had now gone into overdrive. She was worried that Simon would take it out on Laura, frightened that he would hurt her, and then telling herself he wouldn’t hurt their daughter. After another hour had passed by and still no word from Laura, Annie was beside herself with worry, she had started to pace up and down the front room, too frightened to move to far away from the phone in case Laura rang or text. As it approached midnight, Annie made her weary way up to bed, placing her mobile on the bedside table she climbed into bed. Laying staring up at the ceiling she continued worrying her mind going into paranoia as she played all sorts of scenarios in her mind, until she drifted off into an uneasy sleep.
The light hurt her eyes as she woke up; the sun was shining and sending its rays through to the wall. Grabbing her phone still nothing from Laura, it was only 7:30am to early for Wayne to catch Laura on her way to work. Jumping out of bed she dived into the shower, she needed it to brighten her up as she ached from head to toe. Taking the phone into the bathroom she placed it onto the shelf by the door so it wouldn’t get to much steam around it. The hot water soothed her aching muscles, quickly washing her hair and body she dived out as fast as she had got in. Dressing into a pair of jeans and long sleeved top she dashed downstairs and put the kettle on, her tummy rumbled noisily, she hadn’t eaten anything since lunchtime yesterday. Today was going to be a long day so she decided to make herself a good breakfast, as the bacon and sausages slowly fried in the pan; she chopped some mushrooms, and sliced some tomatoes. The smell made her stomach groan with hunger, a large mug of tea tasted good. Plating up she checked her phone, not really knowing why as she knew it hadn’t rang or pinged to let her know she had a text. The breakfast finished she felt calmer and sat with the ‘to do’ list and highlighted the jobs on the list that she was going to do today. First priority was to get a laptop with internet connection; she had seen a couple of shops advertising them in Ilfracombe. That way she could research anything she needed, also keep in touch with the kids via email etc. Wayne can help her tonight to get it all sorted. Also she needed to go and see Ben and get him to sort out the cottage for her, even if it meant paying him on the side, she felt she could trust him. Gathering all the dirty dishes she washed them up and tidied the kitchen.
Sitting one minute, pacing the next Annie spent the next hour waiting to hear from Wayne, when the phone rang she pounced on it before it had the chance to ring a second time. ‘Hi Mum’ before he could say another word she jumped in ‘did you see Laura? I have been so worried…’ she sat down, her hands shaking ‘Mum, no-one’s seen Laura for a week, Mr Harris said she didn’t turn up for work and he hadn’t been able to contact her!’ Annie felt the panic hit her chest like a sledgehammer ‘where is she? Why won’t she answer her phone? Wayne have you tried the house?’ this wasn’t like Laura at all, she wondered why she hadn’t been in touch, just thought she was giving her time to recuperate. ‘I’m on my way round now, I’ll ring you as soon as i get there, mum try not to worry we will find her’