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Vera was standing nearby, anxiously waiting to hear the news, for by the expression on her son's face, she could tell something had indeed happened.

"Well?" asked Vera.

"Charlie's on her way home!" shouted Chuck for joy. Vera clasped her hands in delight.

"When is she arriving?" asked Vera, making a quick spot check of the house to make sure everything was ready.

"Angela didn't give the exact time," replied Chuck, hurriedly thumbing through the telephone book.

"Angela!" exclaimed Vera in surprise. "Angela is responsible for this miracle?"

"I'll fill you in later," said Chuck, finding the number for Los Angeles International Airport. "Hello, could you tell me when flight two forty-one from Fayetteville, North Carolina is due to arrive?" asked Chuck. The receptionist needed a moment to check her computer.

"Flight two forty-one?" she repeated.

"Yes, that's right," replied Chuck.

"Flight two forty-one from Fayetteville, North Carolina arrived at gate three, precisely at five this morning. Will that be all?" asked the receptionist.

"Did you say five this morning?" asked Chuck, stunned by this latest development.

"That's correct," she answered.

"My daughter was on that flight," began Chuck, "and she hasn't called."

"I'm sorry, sir, but that's not our problem."

"She's fifteen years old, has brown hair, and brown eyes. Her name is Charlotte Overholt. Please, could you find out if anyone has seen her?" pleaded Chuck, near tears.

"Last year, we had over sixty-four million people come through LAX. That's roughly one hundred seventy-five-thousand people a day," informed the receptionist.

"Please," begged Chuck, "she's my daughter."

"I'll patch you through to security," conceded the woman.

"Thank you," replied Chuck. Security, however, was of no help. They even paged Charlie, but came up empty. Vera, who had picked up the kitchen extension, was anxiously voicing her fears and worries over the receiver. Chuck quickly called the police. They informed him that unless his daughter had been missing for at least forty-eight hours, they couldn't do anything. The police suggested he call them back tomorrow if she still hadn't shown up.

Chuck slowly sat down on the couch, while Vera rattled on about the tragic possibilities that had befallen their Charlie. Try as he might, he was unable to pull his thoughts together. When he grasped for a word, he would open his hands, only to find them empty. "God help," was the only coherent, two-word prayer he could make. Gradually, even those two words vanished.
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