"Rosalee, Sweetie? Will you go grab the cookies, they're just in the next aisle from us. I need to find some assistance to get that cake mix for Tanya's get well soon gathering. I can't reach it." Jenelle says to her little girl, looking down into her big green eyes, sparkling like emeralds just at the mere mention of cookies.
The small town of Golden Grove decided to come together and make different dishes to take to Tanya's house tomorrow afternoon to make the recovery from her back surgery more bearable. Tanya is like the town's icon. Everyone knows who she is and cares deeply for her because she treats everyone with such kindness, it makes all of the people in the town blanch over the gentleness she shows. What no one knows, however, is how important Tanya is to Jenelle and Rosalee. Tanya took Jenelle into her home when Jenelle's own mother kicked her out for being pregnant at 16. She is also Rosalee's grandmother, after all, even if Tanya doesn't know that.
"Okay, Mommy! I'll be right back!" Rosalee squeals, scurrying past Jenelle and making her way to the cookies.
Jenelle chuckles to herself as she, yet again, attempts to reach the cake mix on the top shelf. Jenelle wanted to make Tanya's favorite cake, chocolate, but she didn't anticipate the cake mix to be so out of reach. Looking around, Jenelle spots an older gentleman restocking one of the shelves. Walking up to him, she shoves her hands in her pockets and plasters a smile onto her face.
"Excuse me, Sir? Could you help me grab that cake mix off the top shelf?" Jenelle asks the man politely, pointing her finger in the direction of the cake mix.
"Sure thing, Hon." The man replies, giving a gentle smile in Jenelle's direction. Smiling back, Jenelle begins to lead him to the cake mix. As she's leading the man to the cake mix, Jenelle can't help but wonder what's taking Rosalee so long.
The man is able to grab the cake mix easily, which is no surprise seeing as he is around 5'10 and compared to Jenelle's 5'4, that's quite a difference.
The man gently hands over the cake mix to Jenelle, shooting another toothy smile in her direction.
"Here you go, Miss. Need anything else I can help you with?"
"No, that's all I needed. Thank you!" Jenelle exclaims, placing the cake mix in her shopping cart.
The man then turns and walks back to the shelf he was restocking while Jenelle suddenly gets an unpleasant feeling in the pit of her stomach. Looking around the aisle she is standing in, Jenelle sees the man who just helped her busy with restocking the shelves, she sees a couple arguing over what flavor chips they want to buy, and finally, the last thing Jenelle notices is what she doesn't see. Where's Rosalee?
Jenelle only sent Rosalee into the aisle right next to this one, so there is absolutely no reason she shouldn't be back yet.
Trying her best to regain her bearings, Jenelle completely abandons her shopping cart and sprints to the other aisle.
Then the one after that.
And the one next to that one.
Aisle after aisle, Jenelle searches for her baby girl, to no avail. Sweat dripping down the back of her neck and hands a shaking mess, Jenelle finally registers the situation she is in, one she thought would never happen. After this horrid revelation that Jenelle wishes was a nightmare, she begins running back to the original aisle where everything went down before it all went to Hell.
Abruptly coming to a stop, Jenelle frantically searches for the man who helped her only mere minutes before, when everything was fine and Jenelle wasn't worried about her little 10-year-old girl and all that could possibly happen to her if she isn't found as soon as possible.
As soon as the man enters Jenelle's line of sight, she starts charging toward him, not caring about just how manic she appears at this moment. With her auburn hair clinging to her forehead from sweat, and her big, brown eyes crinkled from fear and filled with anxiety.
"Excuse me! Sir! Please help me!" Jenelle begins to plead, too frantic to form any other words but those. The smell of bleach is pungent throughout the store from a recent clean up, but Jenelle hardly takes notice of the burning in her nostrils, too preoccupied with finding her daughter.
"Miss? Is everything alright?" The man asks, the gentle smile he once wore now completely faded from his face.
"Please help me find my baby! My little girl!" Jenelle frantically screams, too worried to care about the scene she is causing. The couple arguing over chips suddenly stop their bickering and turn their attention toward the frazzled woman in the middle of the aisle, flailing her arms around in an absurd manner, her face stained with tears, but Jenelle doesn't even notice their presence anymore, not in the right state of mind to acknowledge much around her except for the absence of her child.
The man that had only seen Jenelle happy and smiling a few minutes before, was completely shocked. He was speechless. This is the town of Golden Grove. Children don't just go missing here in this town.
With his eyes bulging out of their sockets and his jaw on the floor, the man begins to hurriedly, and wordlessly, lead the distressed mother up to the front desk.
All the while, the only thing coursing through Jenelle's mind is why? Why did I let this happen? I should have gone with Rosalee to get the cookies, not send her by herself!
Once the man finally leads Jenelle all the way up to the main desk of the grocery store, he tells her to stay put and wait for the police to get here and question her further while he goes up to the woman behind the desk.
"Lisa." The man calls, grabbing Lisa's, the woman behind the desk, attention.
"Hey, Trevor. What do you need?" Lisa smiles at the older gentleman, her smile slowly fading once she sees the distressed mother only a few feet away.
"Um . . . is she alright?" Lisa asks, nodding her head in the direction of Jenelle, who is now frantically looking around where she stands in hopes of any sort of sign to point her towards her daughter's location.
Trevor, now beginning to realize they're taking too long to take some sort of action, relays the situation to Lisa.
"You need to make an announcement over the intercom, Lisa. That woman's child is missing!"
"Missing!? Oh goodness . . ." Lisa's eyes pop out of their sockets as Trevor gives her the rest of the details. He just so happened to see Jenelle and Rosalee together before the child went to another aisle, giving him the ability to provide Lisa with a short description of what the young girl looks like. Lisa scurries to pick up the intercom phone, after receiving more details of the young girl, with shaking hands. Once she finally manages a solid grip on the phone, she begins her announcement in a quivering voice.
"This is Lisa from the main desk. I need everyone, including our employees, to stop whatever they are doing and begin searching for a missing child! She has auburn curly hair down to her shoulder blades with bright green eyes. The store will be closing down until further notice. No one enters or leaves until this child is found! Begin searching for this child immediately!" The crackly sound from the intercom ringing throughout the store has everyone in the middle of their weekly shopping snap their heads up and glance at each other with a look of shock and terror. Immediately, they all begin to search for the young girl as all of the entrances and exits of the store get fully locked up, preventing anyone from entering or leaving in hopes of finding the girl before she can leave the store.
All the while, Jenelle begins to continue where she left off with her frantic searching. Rosalee is Jenelle's whole world, and she just knows if something happens to that girl, she won't be able to go on any longer. Without Rosalee, life is nothing but an empty void to live. What would be the point without her by Jenelle's side? Jenelle doesn't know, but the one thing she does know is she refuses to give up. She already knows, even right now, that no matter what, she will not stop until Rosalee is back in her arms, she can't give up.
Leaving Lisa and Trevor behind for them to await the police's arrival, she starts sprinting down all of the aisles in the store, screaming for Rosalee until her throat is raw, still not giving up even when she has started going down each aisle for the second time.
Rosalee has always been a smart girl, so Jenelle knows she wouldn't just walk away from her task of grabbing the cookies. She had told her mother that she would be right back, and Jenelle knows she would have kept to her word if nothing was the matter, regardless of her only being at the age of 10. Jenelle always told Rosalee that she would go far in life.
Shaking her head to rid of those thoughts, Jenelle continues calling out Rosalee's name, uncaring toward the multiple people she is shoving past. One man in particular Jenelle accidentally runs into actually stops her from her frantic search.
The young man grabs Jenelle's shoulders, looking at her intensely.
"Jenelle? Is that you?" The man asks.
Finally clearing the fog in her brain, Jenelle looks up at the man in question. Taking a closer look at the tall, well built man, his dark brown, curly hair falling right above his eyebrows and his beautiful green eyes filled with confusion and shock, Jenelle realizes that she knows this man. In fact, she knows this man rather well.
"Ty?" Jenelle squeaks, her voice crackling from her strenuous screaming and crying.
Jenelle hasn't seen Ty in well over ten years now. To say she was shocked would be an understatement, but she doesn't have time to dwell on this right now, for she has to find her daughter.
The daughter that just so happens to be Ty's daughter as well, though he doesn't quite know that just yet.