The Missing Russo

Summary: all the Russo's sat in the living room. Jerry and Theresa were in static, the one Russo they thought they lost years ago had finally come back to them.

"It's my fault" Justin said biting his lip 'I let go of her hand"

Flashback 16 years earlier

Instead of having the three Russo kids, Justin, Alex and Max. What if there was one more? Michaela is 4 years older than Justin.

Theresa and Jerry couldn't have been happier. At this time there was Michaela the oldest brown hair like Theresa and light brown eyes olive skin. There was three year old Justin, one year old Alex and Max wasn't born yet.

One July day the Russo's packed the kids in the car and went to the zoo. They spent the day looking at the animals. Justin was an animal lover that he had developed at a young age, he loved every moment.

Jerry and Theresa had made Justin and Michaela have a buddy system. They were supposed to hold hands while they followed their parents around the zoo. Alex was being pushed around in her small stroller.

The russo's made their way through a small crowed of people. Jerry looked over his shoulder making sure his kids were with him. Alex started to fuss in her stroller so the parents stopped to tend to the screaming toddler. Theresa looked up and saw the kids standing close by in sight. When she finished tending to Alex she looked up again.

There was Justin standing alone. "Jerry" Theresa spoke looking around "where's Michaela" it took jerry a moment to figure out what she was talking about.

"Michaela!" jerry pushed through the crowd looking for his little girl. While Theresa grabbed the stroller and ran and grabbed Justin.

"where is she justin where'd your sister go" she asked him a panic. " i don't know mommy" he said his lip quivering knowing this was a bad thing but he didn't know how bad.

Getting through the crowd he finally saw a little girl petting a lady's dog, He approached her.

"Michaela honey" he said lightly trying not to scare her. "Daddy" she said turning around seeing her dad with tears running down his face.

"What were you doing honey" he asked her as he scooped her up in his arms. "I saw the doggy, dad I was going to come back to Justin I couldn't see him when I turned around" she said as she buried her head into the side of his neck. "I thought I was lost" she whispered.

Jerry thanked the lady and carried Michaela back to Theresa.

"Found her" he told her as she approached from behind. It only had been a couple of minutes but for jerry and Theresa it had seemed like hours.

"Oh my girl" Theresa cried out taking a deep breath reaching out to her "mommy" Michaela squealed as she climbed into her mother's arms.

"Oh honey, never do that again you hear me" she said to her holding her face to face. Michaela nodded as Theresa pulled into a long hug. Tears were streaming down her face. The adults took a look at each other silently saying to each other 'it was a close one".

"I think it's time to go home" jerry announced "been a long day for all of us". They packed up the kids and went home.

When they got home jerry put the kids down for a mid day nap and returned back downstairs to where Theresa sat at the couch.

"You okay Theresa" he asked as he noticed her when he walked down the stairs. "No jerry" she responded bluntly.

"We could have lost her for good" she said choking back her tears at thought. "But we didn't did we honey" he told as he walked up from behind placing his arms around her.

A few weeks had passed since the zoo incident. Theresa felt that it was okay to take the kids to the park while jerry worked the substation.

Theresa watched Justin and Michaela run around on the play ground as she sat a few feet away from the sandbox where Alex played in the sand.

Within the hour everything seemed okay the older kids were playing, and the younger kids were enjoying each other in the sand. It wasn't until a loose dog had escaped from its owner's property and ran loose towards the kids at the play ground.

A parent screamed "dog!" Theresa looked up and saw a black dog barrelling towards the children she got up and grabbed Alex from the sandbox. Calling out for Justin and Michaela come and run away as fast as possible.

Out of the commotion with all the kids running and screaming towards their parents. Out runs Justin from the group of kids towards her. "Where's your sister" she asked him as she put him on top of the bench she was sitting on. Holding Alex in her arms, "she was behind me" Justin screamed over the children's parents trying to get the dog away.

The dog had turned and ran into the opposite direction, Theresa ran out into the playground pulling Justin with her. Looking around the playground was empty. Michaela was nowhere to be found; just like that she was gone.

-Fade to black-