Evie chose her words with care.  “We didn’t tell him you were coming.”

“And so now he’s mad?  At me?”  I asked.

She breathed a small laugh, “He could never…He’s not mad at you.  He just doesn’t do well with secrets or surprises,” grimacing at the thought.

“Birthdays and Christmas must be down right traumatic,” I replied, not sure where the sarcasm came from.

Thankfully, she just laughed.  “He’ll come around, I promise.”

“It doesn’t even matter,” I said.  “In a few weeks I’ll be gone and things can go back to normal again.”  I knew her words were meant to make me feel better, but they didn’t.  I felt like I had intruded on something and was the cause of a major rift in their home.  I could tell that she didn’t know what else to say, so we smiled at each other as she rose and left the room.

I stayed awake longer than I should have.  The night was quiet but I couldn’t focus on reading anymore so I sat in the plush chair by the bed staring past the patio into the darkness.  I watched as the clouds swiftly brushed past the half moon revealing thousands of stars, and then fell soundly asleep.

A week flew by uneventfully and a definite pattern to the days had been established.  By the time the weekend hit, I had run nearly forty miles, substantially expanded my palette with Constance’s culinary wizardry, and had my spirit crushed with Matt’s brutal beat down in Wii tennis.  My outlook on this trip had much improved.

I spent most evenings either watching some nightmare inducing movie that Matt suckered me in to or, when the movies involved blood-thirsty clowns I sat with Evie in her room while she pieced fabric into stylish fashions.  After letting me attempt to sew a hem on a skirt, she learned to just let me watch, and I was happy to not sew my sleeve to anything else.  Sewing, one more thing I can add to my list of “can’t do’s”.

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