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01:03:21

(Twenty one years, three months and one day - Present)


Blair stared at the empty house around him and sighed for the millionth time that day. Without his wife to welcome him home with a smile on her face, everything seemed dull. His children were in their own rooms, doing what teenagers did and wouldn't come down until it was dinner time.

The walk to the kitchen seemed longer than usual. Normally, he had a beautiful woman that was his under his arm while he walked or rather, she would be in kitchen, cooking while he did his best to tip-toe around and surprise her. It never worked, of course. But the thrill it gave them both was enough to still feel young. Not that they were old, they only had three children—the oldest close to eighteen and the youngest that turned twelve a few months ago.

Kevin bounded down the staircase and jostled through the doorway just as Blair took a seat at the dinner table.

"What's for dinner?" Kevin inquired, sitting down on the other end, making it quite clear that he expected dinner.

"I've ordered pizza. It should be here in a few minutes. I called before I was leaving," Blair informed his oldest son in a flat voice; bringing the conversation to an end. He stared blankly at the top of the table, his thoughts drifting off as they sat quietly.

Kevin couldn't help but notice the way his father looked. His shirt was crumpled, his hair slightly messy and the light circles under his father's eyes showed that the older man wasn't sleeping well. Apparently, without his mother around, everything in his father's life seemed to fall apart.

The observation was surprising for Kevin, for even though he had seen his mother and father together for all his life, he didn't remember them being in love. He knew, of course, that the definition of love differed from couple to couple, but he hadn't witnessed anything close to emotional connection. Maybe they kept that part of their life away from their children. But he didn't ever remember his parents engaging in any form of inappropriate physical contact.

Maybe they weren't dependent on each other. Maybe their marriage was more about compatibility rather than that of love. Either way, it was hard to imagine them being 'loving' towards each other. They were doting parents and strict when needed; they did steal a few glances at each other and at times completed each other's sentence—even in an argument which surprised him to no extent!—but the sizzle that marriage was supposed to have had seemed to have died.

He supposed having three children around the house was enough proof to anyone that they were compatible and at a point loved one another. But with three children, came three additional responsibilities, the weight of which had crushed his parents once loving marriage—if that's what it was at one point.

The doorbell rang, breaking the silence of the dining room. His father stood up from the table and turned to get the door and the pizzas that waited on the other side. Kevin, knowing the protocol, shouted up for his siblings: "Gabby! Adam!"

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