Deborah

23 03 2007

PART ONE

I have spent the last twelve years of my life attempting to understand the events that unfolded the day my daughter, Deborah, disappeared into the Sargasso park near our home. The difficulty has always been in tracking down where she went in the short, unforgiving interval of an hour between picking her up from school and our late-lunch, early-dinner. You must forgive the rather straightforward speech that this text will put forth. I promise that it is not due to the coldhearted prose of a lawyer but instead caused by three years of crying myself to sleep. Years filled with prayer and wilting hope, a heart that has met a cold end, one that I imagine is not unlike Deborah’s.

She was ten years old. She would be turning twenty-two this coming seventeenth of April. She was born during a storm, the largest the state had seen. Hurricane Jamie tore apart the downtown hospital, they sent an EMT to our area to provide relief. Our basement was, as I had designed it, perfectly safe; still we had to abandon it to run over to the mud-covered ambulance. In my wife’s diary was a note: “We were almost hit by a tree the day Jamie was born.” We were considering the name Jamie long before the hurricane, but after a few discussions we settled on Deborah, my father’s mother’s name. This was the first time I correlated sirens with Deborah.

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