When he straightened, Mrs. Carvalho had her hands tucked up under her bosom. She appeared by turns delighted by the honor they paid her and frustrated by her kin.
Id rather you finish it now. Garth was way too lax with their children. From the beginning, Karen had been forced into the role of the disciplinarian. Her husband worked as a consultant for an engineering firm and at the end of a workday he was emotionally and mentally exhausted. Asking him to do anything beyond changing channels on the television was a strain on his mental capacity.Lily obediently laid out the silverware at the table. Karen inspected it to be sure her daughter had placed each utensil in the proper position. Little things like that were important to her. In far too many families, etiquette and manners had gone by the wayside. Not in her home, though. Karen made sure her children sat up straight at the dinner table and never talked with food in their mouths. Nothing, absolutely nothing, irritated her more than bad manners.
Lily reluctantly sat down at the kitchen counter with her homework. Karen finished stirring the sour cream into the stroganoff, one of Garths favorite dinners. She glanced at Lily and noticed her daughter was involved in writing out her spelling words for the week. Lily had her cell phone by her side and looked up each word on the dictionary app Karen had installed for her. She wondered if other parents had thought to do this. It certainly made Lilys assignment easier. Lilys last report card had earned her a cell phone. Buddy wasnt responsible enough for his own phone just yet. Their youngest often misplaced his belongings.The door off the garage opened and Garth walked in. As he did every night, he placed his keys on the peg just inside the kitchen door, kissed Karens cheek on his way into the family room, and immediately picked up the remote and turned on the evening news.Wheres Buddy? Karen asked, looking up from the stove.
You mean he isnt home? Garth asked, surprise showing on his face, his eyebrows raised.No, hes at baseball practice, Karen reminded him, and then grinned, remembering the date. Is this an April Fools joke?
Garth, be serious. Wheres Buddy?
Her husband rubbed his hand across his forehead. Was I supposed to pick him up?Talk to Beth. To explain.
Sam, are you nuts? Its after ten. Shes probably asleep.Sam doubted that. He hadnt slept well in two nights and he suspected she hadnt, either. Without bothering to argue, he cut off the call, grabbed his jacket, and headed out the door. Filled with impatience now, he drove directly to the rehab center. Although it was closing in on eleven, Sam expected Beth would still be awake.
The door to her room was closed, and when he carefully opened it, he found it dark inside.He hesitated and then whispered, Beth? The light from the hallway bled inside the room and he could see she was lying on her side facing him, her eyes closed. Slowly, they opened. For an elongated moment, they stared at each other, saying nothing.