I was walking through a book store and stopped to browse at all of the popular fiction books. I then looked up from my book and saw a familiar face. It was my favorite teacher from when I was in Junior High. His name Arnold Brodeur. I waved to him and he waved back. I walked over and shook him hand and we made some small talk about things in general. I then asked him if he wanted to go for a coffee at the nearby Starbucks. He agreed.
I ordered a latte and he ordered a triple shot, chai vanilla, double steamed, quadruple boiled, ice cappuccino, with whipped cream chocolate sauce topped with caramel syrup and pumpkin spice. We sat down and jabbed about the past and I asked about some friends I had and if he knew anything about them. Many of them had gone on to very successful professional careers, but I had not which made me feel insecure and inferior. But during the whole time we talked he seemed very anxious and fidgety which was unusual because I had always known him as such a calm and collected individual. It was almost as if there was something swelling inside of him, something that he wanted to get off his chest. Then finally he broke down and out of the blue his lips he stuttered his first few words.
"It's my daughter. I don't know what has happened to her. She was living with me at the age of nineteen. That's when I noticed some of her friends that she was bringing over. They were friendly but high as kites. I was very concerned. Then one night when she came home I could tell that she had been using some kind of hard drugs. But I didn't say anything, her being an adult now she can make her own choices. But then I reasoned that she was living under my roof and therefore she had to live by my rules and this house was and always would be drug free. Then one day when she went out I searched her room and found various types of pills and crystals. I was so angry and wanted to slash my wrists for failing as a parent just as I had failed as a husband. I put the drugs back and thought about what to do next. Then I devised a plan."
"I waited for her to leave one day and searched her room and all of the drugs were gone. She didn't say where she was going out but I knew it was to a drug party. I then called up my cop friend who owed me a favor. I told him she went out and would be back between three and four am and that I was certain that she would be driving home high. I wanted him to pick her up and put a good scare in her. He sat in his squad car down the street and at 4:25 am she came around the corner. Then just as she was parking the car against the curb he turned on his flashers. I watched from the window and could see she was terrified. I put on my shoes and jacket and went outside and played dumb. My officer friend told her that she was under arrest for driving high and possession of narcotics. She started to cry and sob uncontrollably. She was to spend the night in the remand centre and appear before a judge at a later date. He told her she could spend up to two years in jail."
She screamed, "Daddy, help me!"
"And that was exactly what I was trying to do so I let her sit in the remand for the night with real hardcore criminals so she could see where the path she was taking would lead."
"The next morning she came home and ran into my arms and started to cry and she said that she was through with drugs. I told her that I got the cop to arrest her. She freaked out and started screaming and tried punching me in the face and went to her room and slammed the door. That night I went to her room to apologize hoping she had calmed down. I knocked on her door but it was locked, I knocked again and there was no response. I then broke the door off its hinges and she was gone through her window. I never saw her again. That was two years ago. She is officially listed as a missing person. I have quit my job and walked the streets with her pictures. I have even travelled to the big cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, but no luck."
About three months later after talking to Arnold I was walking into a police station to file a complaint and when I opened the entrance door I paused. There she was, Arnold's daughter. She was on a poster for why you shouldn't do meth. There was a picture of her before she started meth at 18 years old when she was beautiful. Then there was a picture of when she was 19, only year later. She looked like a 100 year old zombie. Arnold would be devastated if he saw these pictures.
I dialed Arnold up, he answered and said, "Did you find her?" His voice so full of hope and excitement.
"Yes, I sure did. She looks great, she's doing fine. She says hi."
"Really! Really! My baby! She mentioned my name? Oh! I'm so happy! I can now sleep for the first time in eight years! Maybe she'll come back home. Do you think so?"