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daily – 38

“What’s going on?” Patrick echoes my thoughts, jostling me. I can’t see his face from the backlighting, but his voice is tight. “Dad?”

I shake my head and turn back to the security panel. “Just a sec. Let me…” But the keys are still unresponsive. Hardkey, then.

Of course, it’s upstairs in my jacket. “Alright, I have to get my hardkey. Be right back.” I give him what I hope is a comforting smile. “Okay?”

He nods, and I huff back up the stairs.

“Dad?”

I turn. “Yeah?”

Patrick’s face is close against the glass and I can make out the wideness of his eyes in the light from the stairwell. “I didn’t do this.”

A sagging hole opens in my stomach, as if I’d just been sucker-punched. He’s worried, and I remember accusing him of working, earlier. Some father. “I know. It’s just a hiccup. Probably a power outage somewhere.” I smile without feeling it. “I’ll be right back.”

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