“I love living here,” said Darcy while sitting in Bradys old café sipping her coffee.
“Why’s that?” asked Scott finishing his eggs and toast. He and his cousin Darcy often met for breakfast.
“For one thing, it’s safe. Nothing bad ever happens here. We don’t even lock our front door. And it’s not too big either. You know, people wise.”
“Yeah. And those same people also know you and your business!” exclaimed Scott. “You know the saying, ‘You have a bowel movement in the morning, and by noon, everyone in town knows what color!”
Darcy laughed. Snorting on her coffee. “There is some truth to that.”
“Ya know, I heard the other day that the town of Seneca now has 2000 people. So your little town is getting big time,” said Scott.
“But we still don’t have a Mcdonald’s, so it’s not that big,” responded Darcy quickly.
Scott said, “I like the town’s look, how it sits in a small valley. The hills bordering it make you feel secluded from the world but not alone. And I love how we have two creeks running through town. We could probably do without the train line running through it these days. That would make it quieter. I know it was needed when the town was first developing.”
Scott is thirty years old, has been married to Joanna for fourteen years, and was born in Seneca. He has two children. His daughter, Tamera, is twelve, and his son Luke, is eight. He has been the minister at “First Baptist Church of Seneca” for nine years. He is medium height and has brown hair. His sermons are as firey as his quick-tempered personality. The youngest of six brothers and four sisters. He had to stand firm for his portion of meals and his family’s attention.
“Luke, what is it?” yelled back Scott while trying to locate him inside the house. He found him in his daughter’s room.
“Tamera is missing!”
“She’s probably just hiding from you. She has to be here somewhere.” He looked around his tween’s room. There were posters of Taylor Swift, piles of dirty clothes, books from school, and what little makeup her mother was allowing her to wear.
“Dad, I’ve looked everywhere in her room. I know her hiding spots!”
“Okay. I’m sure she’s around here somewhere. It’s pretty out this morning. Maybe she’s outside.” Trying to reassure his son that there was nothing to worry about.
Scott, too started looking for his daughter everywhere.
“Have you seen Tamera this morning?” Scott asked Joanna, who was in the kitchen making breakfast. She rolled her eyes from top right to top left.
“Come to think of it, I haven’t. I just figured she was still sleeping in her room since it’s Saturday,” Joanna commented.
Joanna turned off the fire from under the eggs and joined the other two, still looking inside and out. At first, the pace wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, but panic set in as their search expanded and the big hand on the clock got further into the day.
“Let’s regroup,” ordered Scott. “Everyone into the kitchen. Joanna, why don’t you start calling her friends to see if she is at one of their houses? I’ll re-examine her room to see if there are any clues. Luke, you come help me.”
In Tamera’s room. “Luke, look to see if you can find her phone. I’ll check the closet and her dresser drawers.” In the back of his mind, he was trying to recount if she would have any reason to run away. He couldn’t think of any.
“I found her cell phone. It’s still here, Dad.”
“She doesn’t go anywhere without her phone,” exclaimed Scott. “I’ve asked her many times to leave it at home on Sundays. Somehow she forgets to silence it, and I’m not too fond of it interrupting my sermons. Especially with her ringtone of ‘You Belong With Me.’ Oh goodness, my sermon for tomorrow isn’t done yet.”
Scott checked the windows. They were locked. He returned to the kitchen to check in with Joanna.
“Any luck? Has anyone seen her, or is she at anyone’s house?” Joanna held her finger up to her lips and finished her conversation on the phone.
“Okay. Thank you, and if you see or hear anything, please call us immediately. Yes, by all means, pray,” Joanna said and ended the call.
“Honey, no one has seen or heard from her. The last text messages one of her friends got were around 11:30 PM.,” she said while snuggling into her husband’s arms. Tears begin to flow. “Our daughter has disappeared. I think we should call the police.”
…To be continued…
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