After getting a full report about Yulia’s disappearance, the officer left and Natasha went back inside.
Cesar threw his arms around her and said, “We’ll get her back.”
Natasha decided to clean up the uneaten meal while Cesar took a shower. She just couldn’t stop thinking about Yulia.
She was sick with worry.
Cesar sat with her after his shower and a long silence fell over them. There wasn’t anything either of them could say that would make the situation any easier.
The look on Natasha’s face nearly broke Cesar’s heart.
“Let me hold you,” he said at last and put his arm around his wife.
“Oh God, it’s morning already!” Natasha pointed out.
“How about I call work and arrange for us to have some time off?” Cesar offered. “We need to try and get some rest.”
He stood up to make the call and Natasha wondered how she could ever sleep while her daughter was missing.
Cesar got them both some time off and it made him feel a tiny bit better to be able to do something useful. The helplessness was almost as bad as the fear he was feeling.
They went upstairs to sleep, but Natasha just paced back and forth and stared out the window, crying softly.
She phoned the police to ask if they had any information about Yulia and they promised to be in touch with her “as soon as possible.”
Finally, she was completely exhausted and went to bed around 11 am.
Cesar woke up in the middle of the afternoon. He dreamed about Yulia the whole time he slept, and he didn’t know what to do. Then he heard Midnight whinny and he went outside.
“Hey buddy,” he said to Midnight. “I’m sorry. We don’t mean to neglect you!” He cleaned Midnight’s hooves and got him settled in the stable.
When he noticed a sandcastle Yulia had built in the yard, his emotions overwhelmed him and he took out all his rage on the pile of sand.
He was left feeling stupid and frustrated, so he decided to take care of his wife.
He went upstairs and woke her, saying, “Come on, let me make you something to eat.”
“Has there been any word?” Natasha asked.
“No… nothing.” He could tell she was about to cry, so he grabbed her by the hand and led her downstairs. “Try to eat,” he told her.
They managed a few bites of their burgers before they were interrupted by a knock at the door. It was Officer Contreras, the one who’d taken Natasha’s report.
“Have you found her?” Natasha and Cesar both asked, nearly at the same time.
“I’m sorry, we haven’t located Yulia yet,” the officer replied. He gestured toward the woman that came with him, “This is Officer Larson, she’s a Family Liaison Officer. How about you two ladies talk while I talk to your husband?”
Cesar and Contreras went into the office, where the officer explained that the first forty-eight hours are the most critical. “Unfortunately the odds of a positive resolution go down dramatically after that,” he admitted.
“If you don’t find her, I don’t know what I’ll do!” Natasha said to the other officer.
Everyone went into the front room and the Officer Larson spoke calmly with the distraught parents.
“My job is to be here for the families in these types of situations. I’m here to make things easier for you in what ways I can. You can call me any time, for any reason. I know this is very difficult for you, but don’t try to take matters into your own hands.”