The front door opened suddenly, squeaking on the hinges and thudding softly against the wall as Leah's husband walked in, heavily laden with coat, briefcase, and laptop. It was an abrupt disruption of her solitude, silent aside from the clack-clack of the keyboard and the occasional cutting on and off of the heater. She started a bit and turned quickly, giving a warm smile when realizing who it was. Sam glanced up and returned it with a half-hearted one, then lugged himself into the kitchen to make himself a drink. Leah left the computer and followed.
She leaned against the counter as he sat down at the table, unfolding the wrinkled newspaper. "How was work?" she asked habitually.
He shrugged. "Lenny was fired today after being hauled off to jail for his involvement in some overseas child labor scandal. Good riddance, he was a dickhead anyway." He took a swig from his glass and sighed. "And apparently he'd been signing some papers of all that mess under the company name, so naturally, we're under investigation now. It's gonna take a while to clear all this up." Sam shook his head, looking tired and defeated.
"I'm sorry honey," Leah said sympathetically, and rubbed his shoulder. "Anything I can do for you?"
He pinched the bridge of his nose and shook his head. "No, not really. I'm gonna go relax for a bit before dinner. What are you making tonight?"
"Stuffed chicken marsala and seasoned vegetables."
"Sounds good." Downing the rest of his drink, Sam made his way upstairs. She heard him shut the bedroom door.
Leah turned to rummage around the kitchen and start the chicken, frowning all the while. Worried about her husband, mainly, but also of the weight of everything that had been accumulating in the last six months, and she tried not to dwell on the thoughts lingering in the back of her head. She tried instead to pretend that she was making a nice dinner for her husband, on a normal evening, in a normal and undisturbed marriage.