I’m up in my office fretting that I should be downstairs. Feeling guilty about holing out in my room. I’ve not done much writing today. The family pull, the feeling of obligation is strong. I’m half downstairs anyway, even when I’m up here.
I give in. Downstairs, Seth is happily playing Wii. Riley is watching him. Todd is playing solitaire on his computer.
I walk over to him.
“I feel guilty.”
“Why?” he asks.
“For being upstairs,” I say.
He looks around at the peaceful scene behind us. Riley on the couch with a blanket. Chihuahua curled up on her lap. Seth happy with Wii remote in hand.
He says the nicest thing anyone could possibly say, “No one misses you.”
Relief washes over me and I laugh, “Thank God.”
I head back upstairs.