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Tigard, OR

A smile lit his face as the sound of children running and laughing with one antoher reached his ears. Seated comfortably on the sectional sofa in the living room he felt at that moment that nothing could have been better in this moment. He’d cleared his board for the day, his wife was on her day off and currently seated on the other end of the couch reading a book, and the kids were getting along. It didn’t get much better than this.

“I was thinking maybe sometime today we could make our way over to the mall, let the kids play around a bit and maybe walk around.”

His wife looked at him with a light smile, nodding as she said, “That’d be nice. After nap time maybe.”

He replied with a nod as he settled back into the couch, his gaze moving back to the flatscreen that was anchored to the far wall. Closing his eyes for a moment he adjusted on the couch, feeling only a moment of discomfort in the darkness behind his eyelids as he opened them again.

For just a split second there was darkness, but upon blinking he saw his wife again, firmly focused upon her book. He didn’t hear the kids any longer, but upon listening more intently he heard the sounds of playing in the distance. Smiling a bit he inhaled through his nose as he rose from the couch. His wife didn’t look up, which was pretty normal when she was nose-deep in a book. Not thinking about it he moved around the edge of the couch as he made his way towards the kitchen.

Casting a look down the hall to his left as he passed by it Ray heard the sounds of his children playing still and nodded to himself. They were okay. Moving forward he passed through the small dining room before making his way through the opening that led into the kitchen to his right. He frowned as he looked at the dishes piled in the sink. A smell of rotten food reached his nostrils as he stepped into the kitchen, causing him to cover his nose as he called back to his wife.

“How long have we let the dishes sit here?”

“I’ll do them in a bit, don’t worry about it.” He rolled his eyes as she called back to him, as this was her default answer for a lot of things. Ray understood that she did things in her own time, but something like the dishes needed to be kept up on in his opinion since this kind of stench just wasn’t acceptable.

“I’ll get it,” he said, shaking his head. She didn’t respond, but he hadn’t expected her to.

(to be continued)

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