My breathing is drastically increasing in pace, but I won’t stop until I find her. Each time the wind blows I jump as if someone is behind me or in case I miss a vital clue. The sounds of the birds and other creatures in nature makes me also second guess whether I am missing something that will lead me to her.
‘Why did she leave? Why did she ever go out on her own? Why?’ I shout this out loudly in case somebody can hear me and might be able to help. Even if they can’t I long for a companion, someone to be a physical comfort through my search. Simply to be there.
I find a large stick the size that our Cocker Spaniel, Buster, usually chooses whenever we are on a longer dog walk. His size is always disproportionate to the stick he decides to carry with him and no matter how many people he nearly knocks over with it, there is no way he will let us take it off him. He growls as if in danger when Sarah or I attempt to remove the wooden trunk from his mouth, so we always give up and let him have his own way, as with most other things.
I use the stick to move the trees and bushes away so that I can clearly view what lays underneath. I don’t know why I am choosing to do this, but I feel it is more productive than doing nothing at all. I realise I am jumping to conclusions or pre-empting an awful discovery by choosing to search this way, but I am hopeless in despair, so I feel that I have no other choice.
After a while of being away from the house I notice that I have forgotten my phone or any form of time telling device, so I have no way of knowing how long I have been gone. The children must be wondering where I have got to and Mum must be worrying silly about my whereabouts or where my anger and frustration has led me. She knows from experience how bad I can get sometimes. She must have so many questions running through her head about the real story of what happened to Sarah. She always second guesses me but this time I have told her the whole truth. All I know of it anyway.
Suddenly, I get a sense within me like a dog would in a police search unit and run back to Mum’s to get into my car. Adrenaline kicks in giving me the energy to take on the distance from the forest to the house. I run off-pieced to get to the fields quicker, cutting my leg on thorn bushes and obtaining numerous nettle stings in the process. I run through the fields, ignoring the clearly marked public footpaths and instead trample through the carefully planted crop, my nose starting to run as soon as I reach the bright yellow field full of rapeseed. Usually I wouldn’t be able to cope with the allergies but the panic increases with my desperation to get to the car, so knowing that this field is the next from home allows me to continue. I stop at the edge of Mum’s garden to catch my breath and decide how to enter so that nobody will notice me taking the car or notice me at all in fact. I don’t wish to be seen, I just want to get to her and fast.