Today it's been a month since we had the first inkling that something might have gone wrong with Jolene.
Why am I revisiting the events of those days?
I want to get them in writing before the details slip away from me. I am sharing them, because when they were happening, we told no one. We saw no need to; we had no idea that tragedy had struck.
March 14th is my son's birthday. (Yes, and March 16th was Jolene's birthday.) One month ago today, my thoughts were with Jaran. If I thought about Jolene at all, I wondered when she would call to arrange the time for us to pick her up on Saturday. I may have tried calling her before I went to work; I don’t remember.
Late that afternoon, Jolene's new friend called, concerned. She told us about the scene with the police on Thursday afternoon. She also informed us that Jolene had broken her phone into small pieces, so we couldn't call her.
That didn't ring any alarms for me, not beyond the usual concern that Jolene was having a bad time, and always around holidays and birthdays. Jolene had destroyed phones before; she would get angry and throw things around.
I confess that my feelings at that point consisted of frustration and anger. We can't call her, and she can't call us. That means we'll have to show up at her apartment unannounced tomorrow, and hope she's ready to leave. We went to bed, steeling ourselves for another tough birthday.
By the time we received that phone call—Jolene was already dead.