The strong moonlight was illuminating some parts of that old fashioned building. She entered in, with a familiar feeling almost as she recognized that place. Suddenly, she heard a deep crying, "Mom, help me." A strong fear caught her in that moment, as she understood that her son was in danger. "Walter, where are you?", she screamed out loud as she was trying to find her son in that old dark building that was filled with dust in every corner. Covered in tears, she was trying to find where this painful voice was coming from. Every scream of her son, was like a sharp knife in her heart. She felt that she was killing her own son, by not being able to help him in the moments when he needed her the most. She continued to follow his voice. She was getting closer to him every second, but for a moment he stopped screaming. He was lying on the floor, covered in blood. With his right hand stretched towards the door and his left hand on his belly. The traces of blood on the floor, could tell you that the he was crawling in order to get out of that place. She finally opened the door, but when she saw himâ€¦
Stephanie woke, screaming.
Her husband Ivan hugged her, and told her that everything was going to be all right. Chilled with sweat and breathless, she told Ivan about the dream. Their son Walter was missing two days now. "I'm scared," she said. Ivan told her that the police are doing everything they can in order to find their son. "You need to rest; you have had two days without sleeping at all," said Ivan. But she neglected him and stood up. Her son came to her mind and she started crying. "Why did we have to come here? What did we do wrong? Why is all this happening?", she said in a painful voice.
Four days ago, Ivan, Stephanie and their seven year old son Walter flew from Boston to a little village called Cernikov in Czech Republic. Ivan was so excited about going there; after all he was born there. It was their first time as a family going to Cernikov for their vacations. They took everything with them, from peanut butter to playstation video games.
The first day, they went sightseeing. Ivan, a man in his forties, with a melancholy face, hazel eyes and curly dark brown hair, introduced them to the beautiful nature that this village had. He told them stories of his family and him when they used to live there. From the smile on their faces, you could tell that they were a very happy family. After they got back to the house where Ivan used to live, he and Stephanie stayed home but little Walter went outside enjoying every second of the vacation.
Two hours later, Ivan goes out to see where Walter is. He looks for him in the front and in the back yard. But he just was not there. He started to worry, but he did not tell Stephanie about it. He asked his neighbors and he asked every person on that street of Cernikov, but no one saw him. He just disappeared, mysteriously. After searching for about two other hours, he came back home. "Where is Walter?" Stephanie asked him worriedly, as she recognized Ivan's face and knew something was not right. "I don't know, I can't find him, "Ivan said,"I think we need to call the police."
One day passed, police officers told them that they are doing their best to get their son back. But yet, that was not enough, Ivan knew that police procedures take a long time. Therefore, he also hired one of the best detectives to help them find their son. "Missing child" posters with Walter's pictures were hanging in every corner of Czech Republic's cities; they even put it on television. Theories of abduction, abusing and killing were spread as fast as lightening throughout Cernikov. For poor Stephanie and Ivan, seconds turned to hours, hours to days, and days to years. Their son disappeared in a dark and mysterious way, but one thing was crystal clear to them, their life without him had no meaning at all. Even though they were both hit hard, hope was feeding and keeping them alive.
Another day passed, another year for Stephanie and Ivan. The police and detective did not find anything, not a single trace of Walter. On the other hand, Stephanie and Ivan passed in a numb state. Very tired from everything, Stephanie slept for a few minutes. But she woke screaming from that terrible dream that she saw. "We shouldn't have left him alone. What were we thinking? It's entirely our fault," she said and started weeping bitter tears, Ivan tried to calm her down. "I just want my son back," she continued in a voice cold as ice, "I just want our life back Ivan."
Days, weeks and months passed but Ivan and Stephanie still did not find their lost son. They did not get back to Boston. Sometimes bad things happen to good people too. We often blame ourselves, other people or even God. But, life goes on and time heals pain. Stephanie's and Ivan's hope was not withered yet; it still fed them and kept them alive. They clung to the hope that one day they will find their lost son, and get back to their ordinary life. But will they ever go home as a family again?