The last time that I saw Richard was when we visited the Botanical Gardens in Downtown Atlanta, where he complained about how Tim and I—Tim’s my boyfriend, by the way—had no sense of tourism on our trips. He wasn’t exactly wrong—we had spent the last three days bouncing between restaurants, our room and movie theaters—but we made sure that we were having fun. But that wasn’t how Richard was. He wanted to see everything all the time. You know, he was obsessed with traveling, like those little tourist groups that take you to “the hidden beauties of ‘insert city name here’”. You know he’s probably off on one of those trips now. Got tired of us wasting his vacation time, packed up his stuff, and hopped on a tourist bus. You should check.
Anyway, you want to know how he was when we last saw him, right? Well, he was meticulous as always. Banged on our hotel room at 8 a.m. sharp, because “We couldn’t let the day go to waste!” Tim almost strangled him right then and there, for what was maybe the seventh time since we got here, but Richard was already jogging toward the elevators.
Tim and Richard didn’t really get along too well. They had only met because of me, so it wasn’t that surprising. There were times when it got really serious though—they almost exchanged punches one or two times, but I always stepped in to fix it.
It’s not like it was too bad, of course. They just…didn’t always see eye to eye. I think Tim just gets insecure sometimes, and Richard did not have the patience for it. When they first met Tim had pulled me aside and asked if “we had history?” I almost busted out laughing right then and there. After that, he never brought it up again, but you could still tell he was a bit uneasy around Richard, hence, their disagreements. Either way, they had come to some sort of agreement when it came to the trips. I don’t know the details, but no one’s dead yet—
The point is they make sure to suck it up and get along for the trip.
Anyway, Tim and I got ready, and after getting our breakfast (with Richard glaring at us impatiently the whole time) we got an Uber and hit the road. Richard demanded that we walk, or take those little motorized scooters, or at the very least use public transportation. Tim argued that all of us sucked at directions, but Richard was not hearing it. He’d rather wander around the city for an hour than actually get to the place we were trying to go. Typical Richard.
So, of course, I stepped in and told him that if he was waking us up at eight in the morning to go to the garden, I wanted to actually go to the garden, not spend the whole day lost. He had grumbled for a few moments afterward but reluctantly called an Uber. And so, we piled into the back of a car and watched the city pass by through the window.
Our driver, his name was Chris, tried to strike up a conversation. Tim didn’t seem to be in the mood (he was staring grumpily at his phone) and I was kind of too busy looking out the window. But Richard? He was ecstatic. He asked him all about the city: where the best place to eat was, if there were any tourist spots he recommended, blah blah blah. I think there was a point where the driver was hoping he would shut up, but alas, to no avail. When we finally arrived, we loaded out and Chris immediately pulled off, leaving Richard with a slightly confused look on his face. I turned to Tim, expecting him to be nearly bursting with laughter, but he didn’t even look up from his phone. He was probably still tired.
Anyway, when we got to the garden, we spent the day there, looking at the different flora and their plant sculptures. I had to say it was actually pretty cool. Richard practically begged me to take a picture of him in front of this weird phoenix sculpture, and then pulled me in for a selfie in front of a fountain. Unfortunately for him, in his excitement, he tripped backward and fell into the water. It was kind of funny, I had to say.
Either way, it more or less cut our garden trip short. Richard was dripping wet and his phone was ruined. I figured that we’d all head back, but Tim said he’d “take one for the team” and take him back to the hotel. Said he could use the extra time to sleep. I asked him if he was sure, and he gave a quiet nod. I had to say I was kind of surprised by how willing he was to step up to help. But he said he was sure, and he did seem off all day, so he probably really could use the nap. So, they went back home, and I hung around the garden for the rest of the day.
I came back home later that night, trudged into my hotel room, and fell on the bed, exhausted. Turned out over 12 hours in the blistering Atlanta heat could really sap the energy out of you. I changed into my pajamas and went to knock on Richard’s door, but Tim said that he had decided to go to bed early (typical Richard behavior) and that I should leave him be. So, I plopped in the bed, and a few seconds later I was knocked out.
The next morning we were supposed to head back, but I didn’t wake up until noon, which was weird since our flight was at 10 and there was no way Richard would let us miss it. Tim said that he hadn’t seen him since the two came back to the hotel yesterday. There was the question of whether he had headed out to get a new phone (again, he was always on top of it) but there was no way to ask him. We waited around for a few hours, but he never came back.
And that’s it. I know that you’re supposed to be looking for him, and I hope you find him soon, but I’m sure he’s fine. Richard is careful—one of the most careful people I know, to be honest. There’s no way something bad could have happened to him. He knew better than to take risks.
Just…let me know when you find him, alright?