daily – 59

“Dad,” Patrick whispers urgently. “Use the hardkey. Let them in.”

“Oh, for-” I dig into my pocket and pull out the hardkey. I give Patrick a thankful nod. He grins quickly, until another soft thump against the door wipes the smile away.

The loss goes straight to my heart. I made him scared. He was fine when the police showed up, initially. He was curious and excited. It was all my antics that made him scared.

“Listen,” I say, turning to face him fully. “Forget what I said earlier. No lying.” He’s still up a few stairs, so I can only give his shin a solid, father-and-son-no-big-deal shake. “You just tell them what happened. There’s nothing to worry about.”

I don’t feel the warm smile that I give him, but there’s something about being a parent that has given me the ability to lie, when it’s for his good, convincingly.