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First Flight Home

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“She didn’t tell him, Mo.” Kathleen had called her sisters and brother for an emergency sibling meeting. They were all crowded into the twin’s cramped apartment. “Anything. It isn’t right. How can she not tell him about Olivia being missing?”

“We said we’d stay out of it.” Lizzie had been the most reluctant to chat behind their parent’s backs. “Let them figure it out.”

“They aren’t. And now they're halfway around the fucking world.” Richard complained. “We never see them. We don’t see Eli. And dad’s miserable. You know he is.”

“Can you imagine dad finding out Olivia was hurt….or worse? Months later? And we knew the whole time.” Kathleen knew he’d be devastated. “I’m calling him.”

“Katie.”

“Do you want that on your conscious? Liv saved me. She helped me when dad couldn’t. She helped Dickie. She saved mom and Eli. Saved them. How many times has she saved dad’s life?” Kathleen shot to her feet. She scowled down at her siblings. “We’ve all spent two years acting like she doesn’t exist. It’s so messed up. What if she dies and he could’ve saved her?”

“Call her.” Maureen threw in her vote.

“Call.” Richard glanced over at his twin who rolled her eyes but finally nodded. “Mom’s going to kill us.”

“I’d rather mom be pissed off than deal with dad finding out we knew and never said a word.” Kathleen knew it was the right decision but her fingers trembled while searching for her dad’s number in her contacts. Send. Please don’t let mom decide to answer. His sleepy hello had her glancing at her siblings for support. “Dad?”

“Katie? Are you okay?”

“I’m….okay.” She hesitated. “We’re all here. And we are all okay.”

“Kathleen? What’s going on?” He sounded alert now. “Some family reunion you didn’t tell us about?”

“Dad. Are you alone?” Kathleen ignored the raised eyebrows from her siblings. She hated hiding things but their mom had put them all in a difficult place. “It’s important.”

“Hang on.”

Kathleen waited until she heard a door closing and he told her to go ahead. “Are you sitting down?”

“Katie. Get to the point,” he insisted impatiently.

"I think you should sit down." Kathleen paced in the twin's living room. Not being able to see his face. To be there made this twice as hard.

"I'm sitting."

“Have you heard any news from the NYPD recently?” Kathleen heard his sharp intake of breath. She stayed quiet for several seconds. A hoarse ‘no’ came over the phone. “It’s Olivia, dad.”

“Is she….”

“They don’t know. It was on the news last night. Someone abducted her.” Kathleen stopped for the third time. She was glad for the foresight of not putting the phone on speaker when a sob echoed in her ear. “I spoke to Detective Tutuola. He—”

“Give me a second, Katie.”

“All right, dad.” Kathleen wiped a stray tear from her eyes. She didn’t care what her mother had to say. They had definitely made the right decision. “I’m here.”

He breathed through what sounded like tears for several minutes. “What did Fin say?”

“He wouldn’t give me details. Just said they had no idea where she was taken. And the news made it sound like she’d been hurt badly.” Kathleen glanced over at Richard who’d written down a name on a piece of paper. “The man who took is called William Lewis.”

“William Lewis?” Her dad had lost the tears in his voice. He sounded angry. “Why are you calling me now?”

“I….”

“Kathleen.”

She sent a prayer up for forgiveness. “I called mom. You were at work. I didn’t want to disturb you. She promised to tell you…then she made us promise not to say anything.”

“For fuck’s….” He trailed off. “I’ll be on the first flight home. I’ll contact Fin.”

She stared at her phone. “He’s angry.”

“Good. Maybe they’ll get a divorce and move on with life.” Richard held his hands up when his sisters all turned to stare at him. “What? They’re miserable. They’re making us anxious. Who knows what poor Eli is going through. I know it’s a sin but surely they deserve to be happy. Even if it’s happy with other people.”

“Careful. You might use up all your good sense for the week in one go,” Lizzie teased him.

"I'm just saying." He shoved her off the couch. "What do we do now?"

"I'm going to call Detective Tutuola again." Kathleen knew they'd all go a little wild if they didn't have a direction to go. "If Olivia's apartment was destroyed like the news says, she's going to need somewhere to stay. She'll need clothes. Dad's going to need a place to stay as well. Let's see if we can't figure something out for them."

"Them?" Lizzie asked.

"You really think dad's going to leave her twice?" Maureen stepped in with the answer they all knew was correct.