Section 3

Toby knocked on the bedroom door.

“Come in,” his ten-year-old daughter said.

Toby opened the door and was overwhelmed by the pungent smell. His daughter looked up at him, brushing her bangs out of her eyes with the back of her wrist. A bottle of airplane glue was in one hand, and part of an Airbus A380 in the other.

“Good god, Tabitha. You need to get some ventilation,” Phil said while walking over to her window. He unlatched it and threw it open.

“Oh, sorry, dad,” she said.

“When did you get into model airplanes?” Toby asked.

“Just today! I was at the mall with Aunt Jennie and I saw it through the window of a hobby shop. Isn’t it great?” she said, holding it up.

“She’s a beauty,” Toby said. “Just like my daughter.”

Tabitha smiled, then went back to putting part of the wing on the two-foot long model.

He stood watching her for a minute, admiring her work.

“Well, I’m going out for the evening to see Laura,” he said.

“Okay, have a good time,” his daughter said, and, as a matter of habit, leaned her cheek up towards him. Toby leaned over and kissed it.

Toby went back downstairs and found his sister knitting in her study. She was working on new covers for all of the beds in the house.

“I’m off,” Toby said.

Jennie looked up from beneath her glasses.

“Are you going to disappear again this weekend?”

“I’ll be back by morning, I promise,” Toby said.

Jennie went back to her knitting. Toby approached her, and leaned down to kiss her on the top of the head.

“Hmm..” Jennie said in response.

“What has that woman been up to, anyway? She hasn’t been to see you in a month.”

“Jennie…” Toby said with reproach in his voice. “Please don’t call my wife ‘that woman’. Her job has been keeping her really busy, that’s all.”

“Hmmm…” Jennie said again.