The lost daughter
My daughter, X, has three part time jobs. When university starts in a few weeks she will probably have to give up at least one of them. Every day she goes out and we are never sure where she’s going because she tells us so little. Often at dinner time my wife asks, “Where’s X? Is X home for dinner?” And we are usually unsure. She hangs out with her friends a lot, too, having dinner or shopping. She doesn’t keep us informed of her comings and goings and infrequently keeps her mother up to date, haphazardly responding to her phone calls.
She never answers my phone calls, so I practically never even try to call her. But then on Monday 18th we were really upset because we didn’t know where she was and we couldn’t locate her because she didn’t answer dozens of telephone calls and four E-mail messages to her cell phone. It kind of defies the purpose of a cell phone, doesn’t it?
She left in the early afternoon to go work someplace we weren’t sure where, and that was the last we knew. Now, the weather on Monday 18th was cool and cloudy, but extremely windy all day. Late at night it began to rain (but today, Tuesday 19th dawned warm and beautifully clear). The wind was so strong that many surface trains were delayed and some even cancelled. When midnight came and X wasn’t home yet my wife began to panic and that’s when we started multiple calling. I called her on my cell phone dozens of times in a row, just hitting "redial” for an hour. Plus I sent her four E-mails: “Telephone now!” “We’re getting ready to call the police.” “Mama is talking to the police now.” Like that.
If she was in the subway then her phone would not work. We can send and receive from the subway platforms but not from the subway tunnels. If she was above ground then maybe her phone was turned off, or maybe she couldn’t hear it, or maybe she was ignoring it, or maybe she was murdered or something. Japan is fairly safe, but not always.
Eventually my wife called the police and a cruiser was dispatched to the apartment for an inquiry to start and a report made. I supposed it was good luck that I had a brand new picture of her to show them that I took on Saturday 16th. But at 12:45 a.m. while we were waiting for the police to arrive X finally called. She was at a karaoke box in Shinjuku with some friends and she was planning to spend the night there. She just “forgot” to call us. My wife had to call the police back, explain that we found her and cancel the cruiser’s visit to our apartment.
We were very relieved.