The Daylight Marriage

The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor Read Free Book Online
Authors: Heidi Pitlor
you. You drink chocolate milk?”
    â€œFine, fine.” Hannah had always been a little lax about things like this. Lovell looked through the cabinet. Ripped clothing or unbrushed hair made her crazy, but, what, seventeen grams of sugar in one serving of Ovaltine, according to the label on the can, was apparently no problem.
    â€œShe gives me one squirt of whipped cream on top.”
    â€œNo. Really? We even have whipped cream?”
    â€œIt’s the only way I can drink it.”
    Lovell sighed and headed back to the refrigerator.
    The two did not say much more as they downed their cereal and went to find Ethan’s schoolbooks and jacket. “Are you going to get dressed?” Ethan asked him as they headed for the front door.
    Lovell was still in his pajama pants and bathrobe. “I wasn’t planning on it. I’m not going to my office today.”
    â€œI’ll just walk myself to the bus stop.”
    â€œIf you want,” Lovell said, wondering when Ethan had begun to notice what anyone else was wearing.
    Lovell went to open the front door. It dawned on him that he would be alone in this house today. Not one of them would be there with him. Lovell bent down and hugged Ethan before saying good-bye. “You’re my best Ethan,” he whispered, a silly thing he had been saying for years.
    â€œBye, Dad,” Ethan said, and he trudged forward, his gray sweatpants bunching and pooling above his sneakers.
    Lovell caught sight of a news van parked across the street again. He wondered when it had come, and why. An idea landed on him: What if he actually offered himself up to whatever reporter might be sitting inside this van, watching for him? Didn’t the husband or wife in these cases usually do that? Make a plea for their spouse to return?
    After the bus came and disappeared with Ethan down the street, Lovell thought more about his idea. A guy now standing outside the van adjusted what looked to be a light meter. He lifted his head and caught Lovell’s eye, then leaned around the back of the van perhaps to call for someone else.
    Lovell walked back inside the now empty house. He had to do this. He had to do whatever he could to help get her back. He went to the bathroom to comb his hair and check his teeth. He looked over at Hannah’s bottle of lemongrass hand cream on the sink. The bathroom in her parents’ brownstone where she had lived when they met had been this exotic laboratory when he first saw it, all the tall glass bottles and clay or ceramic pots of lavender and melon and cucumber and jasmine creams lining the windowsill and the sink and the side of the tub. He remembered secretly unscrewing and smelling a few. He had even tasted the huckleberry mask, though he had spat it out once his mouth registered the bitter alcohol tang.
    Duncan had warned him against speaking to the press, but this would be a way to control the message right now. He tried to ignore his rapid pulse at the thought of this task that faced him.
    He stepped outside, and Maya Gupta, a youngish reporter from Channel 6, was on him. “Lovell Hall!” She turned and motioned to her cameraman a few yards away. “Would you mind saying a few things?” Her round face was open and curious. She kept a respectful distance from him.
    â€œGlad to do it,” he said.
    â€œWhat do you know at this point about where your wife might have gone?”
    â€œI hardly know anything,” he answered.
    She asked him the sort of questions that Susan Sperck had, although with less venom, about what he knew and what the police knew.
    â€œIt seems that she might have gone to South Boston,” he said. He attempted to project concern but calm—he certainly did not want to appear nervous or, worse, disingenuous. “Would you mind if I asked your viewers for help? Maybe they could call the police if any of them saw her?”
    â€œOf course,” Maya said. “Why

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