Liam left the house stepping over the fresh dew and through a bustling ant metropolis. Tiny bodies crushed in an instant. He was ten feet from the door when he stopped. HIs toes enjoyed the cool of the grass and the grit under the lawn's green expanse. They danced in slow motion, joints popping. He had forgotten shoes. Turning stiffly he walked back to his house. Inside Emma watched her husband, her eyes tracing his lined face, the look was back. Frustration. Confusion. Fright. Ben was awake.
"Mom, you're up early. And ... sh*t. He's out again. Dad. Dad!" Liam came back through the door. His suit, flawless in the twenty three years he worked at the plant, rumpled, giving his gaunt frame depth. "Dad come back inside, here sit down, let me make you some tea." Benjamin turned his hand scratching against his jaw. "Sh*t." And he went into the kitchen grumbling about a shave.
Liam sat there rumpled suit and wet feet and stared blankly into space. The same look was there. Emma got up and sat beside her husband. Ben came back with the teapot, three cups dangling from his fingers. Emma helped him with the tea, pouring herself and Laim full brimming cups. "Milk or sugar Ma?" She shook her head offering Liam a cup. He took it wordlessly. "Well I need some. Some of both." The parents sat on the couch, their backs to the window and watched sightlessly as Benjamin turned back to the kitchen to fix his tea and began his morning ritual. He talked continuously, through sips of tea, mouthfuls of cereal, from behind the paper, his voice elevated. Enthusiastic. Jane had the children, but they'd be by later in the week and they could see them then, he'd have to take time off from work to drive Logan to soccer and Anna to dance and of course they had their dental appointments this week, which was bad cause he was up for promotion again and he was going to get it this time. This time for sure. He stopped by them once, on his way up to his room to have a shower. A pause in his morning ritual marred by silence. Quite observation. They sat sipping luke warm tea. Silently.
Ben left in the same whirlwind of movement that defined his life. Glasses on his head while he searched for them in his pockets, papers flying in and out of bags envelopes and pockets. Shoes miraculously appeared on his feet and he tied his laces with a stack of documents locked between his teeth. Jumbled words fell out of his busy mouth in a way of good bye, then the whirlwind made its way to the car. Outside the car backed out of the driveway crookedly and drove off; a sheet of paper caught in its door making an annoying flapping noise that would follow Ben all the way to work.
Emma took her husband by the hand. "Come. Lets put our feet in the dew." Liam looked up at her and smiled.