“But Dad! Me and Carly want chocolate milk,” Timothy whined, tugging on Dale’s hand.
With an exasperated sigh, Dale brought the shopping cart to a halt in the middle of the freezer aisle. He hated chocolate milk, and didn’t want Timothy drinking it.
He considered giving the boy another lecture on the nutritional benefits of the whole milk over chocolate, but decided against it.
It wasn’t worth the trouble of negotiating with a five year old. There are some things children just don’t understand. He decided to compromise and get the two percent.
Reaching for the door handle, Dale froze. Staring back at him on the other side of the glass was Timothy, smiling back at him. A younger photo of him, of course.
Back when he had his natural hair color, before Dale dyed it black. The bold red lettering printed on the carton twisted his stomach into knots.
*Stephen K. Akers*
*Date Missing: 4/7/1990*
*From: Lyndhurst, NJ*
*If you can identify this child, or any other missing children, report any information you may have to:*
*The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 1-800-843-5678*
Timothy was young in the photos, but it was unmistakably him. Even he would recognize that. Dale’s eyes darted to the Whole milk on the shelf below.
*Date Missing: 1/22/1993*
*From: Staten Island, NY*
A cold sweat ran down Dale’s forehead to the top of his brow. She was sitting happily in the cart, enjoying her sippy cup. She was too young, but surely someone would recognize her.
Timothy might even piece it together.
Timothy tugged at the bottom of his father’s jacket. “Dad! I want chocolate milk!”
Dale yanked the door open and grabbed the chocolate milk, quickly inspecting it.
Mercifully absent of any more PSAs, he put it in the cart and shuffled out of the aisle, with Timothy happily skipping behind.
Dale hated chocolate milk, but anything else just wasn’t worth the trouble. There are some things that children just don’t understand.