Oh my god, hey! How’s it going?

I feel like such a jerk, man. It has been the craziest week. I am literally just seeing this ransom note now.

Ugh, I’m the worst.

Okay, hang on, hang on, I’m just skimming back through—ah, shit. I see you set a meet time two nights ago, right under the old oak tree in Magellan Park. You didn’t end up—

You did? You weren’t waiting long, were you?

A couple of hours? Even though you hadn’t heard from me? Huh, okay. I mean, I would’ve confirmed at least—

No, no, totally fair. I get it, that’s on me.

Wait, that wasn’t the night with all the crazy rain, was it? Man, you must’ve gotten soaked.

How’s my kid holding up, anyway?

Oh, yeah, that sounds like him. Hey, let me ask you a question: Are you giving him a little iPad time at night?

All right, I mean, that’s your call. I know I tried to be a real “no screen time” hardliner at first, but honestly, you’re just punishing yourself. Believe me, I’m not going to tell anyone if he gets a little too much time with Ms. Rachel if it’s going to make your life easier.

Man, I feel terrible. It looks like you really spent a lot of time on this thing. Even glued the magazine letters and everything. That is so old school. I was wondering if people still did that. I can’t remember the last time I saw anyone even reading a real physical magazine. Just fun to see someone still doing the classics. Hey, if I post this on socials, do you have any accounts you want me to tag or anything?

So listen, when do you want to do this?

Oof, I gotta tell you, the whole 1 a.m. dead drop thing is a real killer, schedule-wise. This—and not saying this is on you, obviously you couldn’t have known—this whole thing couldn’t have come at a worse time. Things have been just bananas at the office, and I’ve been burning the midnight oil this whole week, which is pretty much why I missed the note in the first place. Honestly, I didn’t even notice the kid was missing.

Life, right?

And full candor here, Magellan Park is like the least convenient spot imaginable. Where are you going to be coming from?

Of course I want to see my kid again, man. Just like, I’m guessing, you want to see my briefcase full of money, right? So if we’re both getting something we want, I’m not really following why I should be inconvenienced more.

By the way, I’m deducting the briefcase cost from the ransom amount. If you want all of it, I’ll throw it in a trash bag, but I’m not paying all that and buying a briefcase that I’ll never see again. That’s crazy.

All right, fine, fine, let’s meet halfway—we can do Magellan Park, but let’s pick a normal time. I can’t imagine you really want to stay up that late anyway, and I’m sure my kid’s not exactly a delight if you’re not letting him get his sleep. All right? Is that—

Hang on, I’m getting a call from my boss. Tell the little man I’ll see him soon, okay? I’ll call you right back.