Opening the door was an agonizingly slow process, but as it finally swung all the way inward Ray felt a hint of confusion at who was standing there.
“Dad? What’s up? Why are you here?”
It was an awkward and rude way to greet his father, who’d been there for him when…wait, when what?
“Ray, you need to come with me son.”
He snapped back to the moment, unsure of what his father was talking about, or why he looked as though someone had just told him that the family dog had died. Looking around he realized he couldn’t hear the kids anymore, or the faucet in the kitchen. Frowning he took a step in the direction of the hallway, but his father stopped him with an outstretched arm.
“Let them go Ray,” his father said calmly, “It’s time to stop this.”
“Oh hi Art,” his wife said as she entered the room, wiping her hands on a dish towel as she looked at Ray. “What’s going on?”
“What are you talking about?” Ray said, his voice shaky as he spoke to his father.
“Ray, is she here right now?”
“Ray?” his wife asked, looking him in mild surprise. “Honey is everything okay?”
He still couldn’t hear the kids, and for some reason, his heart started beating faster.
(to be continued)