Phoenix, AZ

May 25th, 2019

He woke up the next day to find Hailey’s side of the bed empty but thought nothing of it since she tended to get up on her days off out of habit. Normally she woke up around 4 am on her workdays and would be gone by the time he got up to wake the kids and get them ready for school. Their three daughters were in grade school and up at this point and sometimes needed to be prodded to get going in the morning, but thankfully not before 6.

On her days off though she tended to either get up because she couldn’t sleep or was up just because. She slept in occasionally and enjoyed it until the kids decided it was time to wake up simply because their parents hadn’t yet. Then they’d be bombarded with three little, well, not so little anymore, bodies as their kids jumped up on their bed and proceeded to snuggle. It was a good thing they had a king-sized bed, though he’d still been t-barred by their oldest a time or two since she seemed to enjoy sleeping perpendicular between her parents. Thankfully that had stopped once she’d gotten a little older.

Stretching for a moment he then made his way out of the bedroom, walking down the hallway towards the kitchen as he could hear the faint sound of a ceramic mug being placed on the wooden dining table that sat just beyond the kitchen. They had a simple home, not too big and yet not so small that the five of them, six if one counted their dog Amy, could fit in and not feel crowded. As he rounded the end of the hall he walked into the dining area, noting that Hailey was looking intently at her phone with a frown on her face.

“What’s up?” he asked, smiling as she jumped slightly in her seat.

“You scared me babe,” she said breathlessly, “How in the world do you move so quietly?”

“Pure skill,” he said with a smile, “What’s got you so bothered?”

“Hmm?” she replied, “Oh, I was just reading here that apparently someone witnessed a kidnapping last night, and Jackie texted me about it before I found the article.”

“Oh yeah?” he replied, going to the fridge to grab out one of the three cartons of milk they continuously bought. Each of the girls liked their own brand of milk, and rather than fight with them he’d made the concession to keep at least half a gallon of three different kinds in the refrigerator to keep them from having a meltdown.

It was something he lived with since having all girls and one male in the house was a losing situation for any man when it came to an argument.

(to be continued)

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