Dick sat on a large upholstered chair wearing pajamas and a white t-shirt. He was leaning over, his forehead held by both hands. Lynne was watching him. She noticed that the time was nearly 9:00 AM, much too late for Dick to still be in the house. She also noticed something else. Dick was gaining weight and he looked very pale, but with pink blotches here and there on his white arms and his puffy cheeks. Dick usually held up well under pressure, but this time things were different. This time, there was a strange confluence of loud noise everywhere, and yet no one was talking to Dick. No one except Lynne, that is.
“Yeah,” mumbled Dick, his forehead remaining in his hands, his back hunched over.
“Three more years, Dick. We can make it, can’t we?” Lynne asked, and it was not a rhetorical question.
Dick raised his head and stared out in front of him, staring at nothing in particular, but to Lynne it appeared Dick was looking down a long road.
“Yes. Of course. Just a bad spot right now.” Said without any apparent emotion.
“Maybe you should see Dr. Malakoff.”
“Malakoff can’t do anything for me right now. It’s not a health thing.”
“Richard, you might be thinking this is some larger issue, but it is impacting on your health. It is not worth it.”
“It is not worth it? It is not worth it?” Dick was now looking directly at his wife. “The wheels are coming off. We miscalculated. And now I can’t stop it. There is nothing I can do.”
Lynne walks up to Dick and places her hand on his back. “Things will work out, Dick.”
“You know your history. Things do not always work out.”
Lynne kneels down and hugs her husband.
“You should get dressed. It is not good to stay in the house. Go out and start the day.”
Dick rises and stretches his back.
“Yeah. Go out and start the day. Yeah. That’s what I will do.” Dick walks into the bathroom, leaving Lynne kneeling by the upholstered chair.