Judd glanced up from the ground he was plowing and saw movement on the river. He let go of the horse’s traces and trudged down to the riverbank.
He glared as an empty rowboat glided smoothly down the middle of the river. For a moment, he thought about letting it go on by, but he grudgingly doffed his boots and swam out to catch the boat and guide it onto dry land.
Darla hung her bra on the closet doorknob. She put her arms into her cotton nightshirt, raised it above her head and let it fall down her body.
She paused briefly as she turned back the covers on her side of the bed. Stephen’s pajamas were folded neatly on his side of the bed, not quite touching his pillow. She had washed the bedding a few times since that day when he walked out, but she had been careful to replace his pajamas where he had left them.
“Mom, we’re in our thirties, now. We’re old enough to hear the truth. Yes, it happened a long time ago, but we want to know the real reason Dad left us.”
Curt nodded to show that his elder sister, Leah, spoke for both of them. “We appreciate that you’ve tried to protect us, and our memories of Dad, but we can’t accept the explanation you’ve always given.”
Margaret looked at them both and sighed. She had known the day would come when they would badger her together rather than separately.
“Fine,” she said. “But I’m going to tell you this story only once. I never want to discuss this again. Agreed?”
“Agreed,” her children said in unison.