"Any body home?" I call towards the bedroom.
Son #2 answers immediately. "I fed the dogs," he says.
I thank him and walk toward the back bedroom.
He's finding this work stuff pretty grueling and I expect to see the long body stretched across the mattress, where I have found him the last couple of nights but the bed is empty.
"Where's Zay?" I say to his brother.
My heart jumps up a little. He was supposed to get off work at five.
"Has he been home? Have you seen him?"
"Uh-uh. He's at work."
"But he should be home by now. He got off at five."
"Did he come home at all?"
"I don't think so."
My mind goes to scary places. I picture the green bike upended, wheels spinning, while my son lays bleeding on the pavement. Try to remember the last time I saw him take his pills. Wonder if he has been fired and doesn't want to come home. Wonder if he has gone to the corner liquor store and is downing cheap beer in some gutter.
"I'm going to the store," I say to Son #2. "I'm going to check and see if he is still there. Text me if he comes home."
Just as I head out the door I hear the bike wheels and see the fluorescent orange vest.
I want to sit down on the sidewalk and cry.
"Where were you?" I ask.
"At work," he says. "Don't you remember?"
"But you told me you would be off at 5?"
"They changed my hours," He says. "I worked until 7:30."
We are about two months into the mental health issues. I wonder if I will always feel like I did when the boys were very young- constantly on high alert. I wonder if it will ever get any easier.