DeSear had a tone to his voice that said, "See, I told you this wouldn't work." And considering he only said two words, "Where's Dallas?" -- that was pretty impressive.
I called his cell phone but it went straight to voice mail. I then called his wife, Rachel at home. No answer. I called the Walmart where she works and had her paged. 10 minutes later she picked-up. I asked her where Dallas was? Of course, she was in disbelief. Apparently he had left the night before and was going to stay with a friend near the yard. I asked if she could call the friend but she left her cell phone at home and couldn't dial long distance from work. She gave me the number to call. Almost an hour had gone by since Dallas was supposed to report. I called the friend who sounded like he just walked in from an all-night party-- not as drunk as he probably was six hours ago.
"Dallas? He was supposed to meet up with me last night? News to me, dude." With that, he hung up. I called back Rachel to see if she had given me the wrong number. Unfortunately she hadn't. Now my cell phone was ringing. It was DeSear again. Pounding me with the same question but now laced with a string of profanity. If there's one thing you don't do, it was sign a contract and not show up.
Rachel was now distraught. Perhaps he was in an accident. I called the highway patrol and asked if there were any accidents last night along what would have been his most likely route. A few, but only fender benders. Nothing serious. Well that was good news. But it still didn't get us anywhere.
We were at a dead end. Rachel left work and headed for home to check her cell phone and answering machine. That took about 45 minutes. No messages on either. She called all her friends. Nothing. What little family they spoke to. Nothing. Neighbors. Nothing. The evening rolled around and Rachel decided to call the police. Of course, that didn't do much good when you live out in Sorrento. It was like calling Barney Fife and Andy Taylor.
The next day rolls around and Dallas shows up at the yard a little before 7:30am. Of course, he was whisked away for interrogation. Under the bright light he disclosed that he had been in South Carolina yesterday visiting his supposedly ill father in the Ridgeland Correctional Institution. I knew exactly where Ridgeland was because I scouted a kid from nearby Jasper County High School who I happened to project as an 80 for speed (on a scale of 20-80).
Come to find out, his father wasn't ill at all. It was just a ploy to get Dallas to the jail. Dallas wouldn't dare tell Rachel that he was going to visit his father. She despised the man and made Dallas promise that he'd never talk or see him ever again. Somehow his father learned that Dallas had been drafted and got a hold of his cell phone number. In his father's mind, Dallas was loaded with cash. Dallas suspected that his father was lying but Dallas needed to go for another reason. He needed to get all his hatred and anger towards his father out in the open to deal with it. He needed to put the past behind him before moving forward. And his father's plot to get him to the jail was just the opportunity he needed.
From what I hear, Dallas has shown flashes of brilliance in several innings of work, but for the most part is struggling with his location. He has mandatory telephone conferences with Dr. Rakes three times a week.