Paint

Henry dips his paint roller in the tray and rolls it to cover the whole brush. He stands and continues painting the wall of his study. The radio plays soft rock as he works. The song finishes and the DJ comes on.

“And that was Hall & Oates with She’s Gone, dedicated to one of our own, the Hill family who are still searching for Sarah. If anyone has any information on her disappearance please contact local authorities immediately. Henry and Addison, you’re in our thoughts and prayers.” Chris Rae’s Josephine plays.

Henry hums along as he works. A bubble appears in the paint on the wall and he stops. He leans close to the wall and raises a finger. He pops the bubble and smiles.

Addie walks into the study, watching her father. “You’re changing the color?”

“Needed something to keep my mind distracted. If I sit still too long I think about Sarah.”

Coughing, Addie sits in a nearby chair. She pulls her legs up to her chest and watches him paint silently.

He continues working for a few minutes before looking at his daughter. “Is there something you needed, hon?”

“You missed a few phone calls. Channel 6 and 3 are interested in interviewing you. A couple other shows would also like to speak with you. Even America’s Most Wanted is interested in doing a segment on Sarah. The newspapers want to interview you for the weekend editions or want to ask some follow up questions from other interviews.”

“You wrote down all the numbers, right?”

She coughs. “I don’t think you should do anymore interviews.”

“They’ll help us find Sarah.”

“But it’s already been a month. They say if you don’t find the lost person within a few days then most likely they’re already…”

Henry turns sharply to Addie. “Don’t say it. You’re sister is alive. If the police had only listened to my advice maybe we would’ve already found her.”

“You mean Brady? He had nothing to do with it, dad.”

“He was the last one to see her before she disappeared. He did it.”

Addie coughs again. “You’re only saying that because you didn’t like him. They were going to get married.”

“I don’t want to talk about this.”

“But—”

“Enough!”

Addie’s cough intensifies, forcing her to lean forward.

“Are you all right?”

“It’s the paint. Did you have to buy the most disgusting smelling paint?” she wheezes.

“It’ll only smell this way until it dies. You should head back up to bed before you get too sick.”

“I’m fine.”

“Addie.”

Taking deep breaths, she eyes her father. “Fine, but at least open a window.” Standing, she heads out of the study.

Henry waits until he hears her door close before dipping his roller in the paint and continuing his work, humming along with the radio.

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