But the book was nowhere to be found.
He searched as best he could while seat belted in but no luck. I assured him we’d find it once I pulled over. So I did just that. We searched and searched. No Thief under the front seats, not under the middle seats, not in the door pockets, not in the glove box, not wedged under the crap on the tray between driver and front passenger.
Gen had gone missing. With one chapter to go.
In addition to feeling acute sympathy for my son being denied the ending of a good book I couldn’t bear to think that perhaps we’d abandoned Gen in the McD’s parking lot some 35km back down the road. My poor book, perhaps lying there abandoned at the mercy of seagulls and tires and the weather. That's no way to treat a good read. On the other hand, it would be about a half hour back. Then another half hour to return to where we were. I waffled. My son said he’d just buy me another copy of the book. But it bugged me too much.
I couldn’t do it. I couldn't leave it.
I had to know if it was back at McD's lot. I had to attempt the rescue. So back down the road I drove. I parked near our former parking space only to watch a big old beige Buick pull into the spot. The view of the pavement was now obstructed, plus it was getting dark, so it would be tricky to see if The Thief was lying there. Um, could we go looking around under the car without looking like thieves ourselves? Well, no. We looked suspicious but we did it anyway.
No luck. No book.
So it was back into the Odyssey, me feeling disappointed the whole 35km back to the turnaround point and further on up the road. Maybe someone else had picked up the book and was enjoying it. That was somewhat comforting.
We arrived home, unloaded all the junk from the car... and found The Thief tucked inside the folded down 3rd row seat.
All that for nothing? Yes and no. I guess just like a good book, it ended well. And there's a lot of satisfaction to be had in that.