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We pulled into Denny's and found a side parking place large enough to park. I was relieved to get out of the semi and be around other people. The cold air felt good, though I hoped we were on the downward slope of winter. Spring always gave me hope. We sat inside in a booth by a window, and after my father's prerequisite flirting with the waitress, our conversation turned to what he wanted to share with me.

"Melissa, I want to buy some property in Astoria, Oregon." I looked at him with wide eyes. He knew how I loved the coast and my summers we had spent there. I was pretty sure he knew I had a crush on Gavin. Was he teasing me? Was he telling me this so I would move there with him? "I have plans, Melissa," he said. "Big plans."

"Like what, Dad?" I asked him.

"I want to build a home there."

"That's really cool," I said, but I wasn't sure he was serious.

Our topic changed to the fact that I was turning sixteen that summer and I wanted to get my driver's license. My father laughed and told me stories of having to teach my mother how to drive when she was an adult.
FROM: Dr. Phil Returns to The Oprah Show: My Father Is a Serial Killer
Published on September 17, 2009

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