Long Reads


The plane has been missing for 86 hours and 29 minutes and I have no idea when I’ll see my sister again.

I told her to stay put until I could make time to see her but she’s never been patient. And now I feel guilty as hell because if I had just visited her when she asked me to last week, she wouldn’t have just disappeared. My parents tell me that it isn’t my fault that Sonali went missing but my decision to postpone visiting her led to her deciding to visit me.

I haven’t told any of my friends or coworkers. My parents are telling everyone they know but I don’t want to deal with people’s concern right now, it’ll make me think about it more and get even more stressed. I was so disoriented this morning in the bathroom that I spent at least 5 minutes searching for my toothbrush even though I was holding it in my left hand.

I hear my phone vibrating as I’m watching TV. I don’t answer because the caller ID tells me Stacey is calling. My phone vibrates again. I decide to answer it and before I can tell Stacey I’m a little busy, she speaks rapidly, “I messaged him. It’s been two minutes and he still hasn’t replied. What should I do? What should I do?”

It takes great restraint to tell her that I don’t give a shit. I’d feel this way even if I weren’t worrying about Sonali. Stacey made an account on some dating site last month and has constantly been pestering me for advice by asking questions like: “What should my display picture be? That one from work or from when I was in Cuba?” or “What should I put in About Me? Can you write it? You know me so well.”

I take a deep breath before answering, “Stacey listen to yourself. Two minutes?”

“I wouldn’t expect such a quick reply but he clicked like on one my pictures like five minutes ago and I don’t know why he’s taking so long to reply. It’s been three minutes!”

“Just be patient. I have to go now. I’m busy with something.”

Even if this guy replies to Stacey and they start talking and then meet up and then start dating, there’s a strong chance that he’ll be an asshole because that’s the type that traps her. I first started talking to Stacey a few years ago in college on Valentine’s Day. I remember her telling me: “Your girlfriend is so lucky. You actually gave her roses and a really sweet card. My boyfriend didn’t even remember what today was.”