1. closed tightly so that no air can go in or out


None of it made sense.

Incoherent text messages from one untraceable number and threatening texts from another? Then there was the sudden change in Dinah’s schedule. The late nights, the missed classes… And now Jonathan found out she had been visiting some unlicensed daycare in a more dangerous part of the city, 45 minutes away from campus.

For the last six months Jonathan Milsner had been trying to track down what happened to his half sister Dinah. They hadn’t been close in any way except for their ages.

Jonathan’s father had left his mother in California for another woman two years into the fledgling marriage.  He offered no explanations; he just left.

Apparently he didn’t know that his wife was pregnant with Jonathan. But sometimes Jonathan wondered if he knew, but didn’t really care.

That other woman was Dinah’s mother–rich, affluent, beautiful. She came from old money.

Jonathan didn’t learn all of this until about a year ago. He had always known his father had left them, but he didn’t know why or for whom. If he’d been honest with himself, he would’ve realized how hard it was to stand the thought that the man he bared so much resemblance to physically would be not just a coward, but opportunistic. Maybe he never really wanted to believe his father was a coward.

And maybe that’s why he contacted Dinah nine months ago, hoping she would have a different story to tell of the man who contributed DNA to his life and little else. That the late Jonathan Milsner Sr. would go from being a shadow and a hermetic tale to a real man, as she shared memories of the loving man she called father.

They had agreed to meet, despite the awkwardness of never knowing each other existed for 20 years and their birthdays being just mere weeks apart.  By the time his plane landed Dinah was already missing. At first he thought she had changed her mind and was refusing to respond to his texts.

Later that night he received a call from the Hartford police. That’s when he knew things had gone extremely wrong.



*This word is from the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day feature.



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