On the third anniversary of my father’s disappearance, I hid in my car a block from my house, imagining what it would be like to vanish. To leave everything behind: clothes, money, pictures, friends, and family. To start over without the weight of my identity and my past dragging behind me. All I had to do was turn the key and drive.
Then, I could be free from it all.
But three years ago I promised I’d never make my family relive that night when I was fourteen. The ice cold mashed potatoes, the melted candle wax dripping onto the ivory tablecloth, Amber picking at the loose strand of her favorite blue dress—the same dress she’d torch later that week in the backyard. With one choice, my father unraveled himself from the fabric of our family without a goodbye, and we weren’t able to stitch ourselves back together.
The car hummed as it idled underneath me, urging me back home. Only two minutes down the road, yet I could have been an hour away, the facts remained the same—I was late. From the driver’s seat, I had a side view of my living room window. Every few minutes, the curtain pulled back, and I’d catch a quick glimpse of my mother’s arm. Without even seeing her, I knew my mother had a phone clutched to her shoulder, waging an internal debate on whether or not to call the police. Our county department’s number memorized after months of calls.
It's hard to guess where you're going with this. It feels too distant from Dad's disappearance to be a mystery, yet because you lead with the fact that dad disappeared that is where the reader will focus (at least at first). I wonder if you want to hold off on that a little. Let us wonder why your protag is hiding in his car; why mom knows the police # by heart.
I do love the image of Amber picking at her blue dress and the fabric of the family being unraveled, but that is a bit heavy-handed for right at the start.