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hs73150.jpgbuy prints of select halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 73

It was past noon before Bob realized Lisa hadn’t been home. Since Rebecca left, he’d taken to sleeping late and retiring early. He passed the days reading – always books, never newspapers — and smoking in the backyard, around the side of the shed. The television in the living room sat unplugged and dormant. Once a day he emptied the voicemail on his cell phone, skipping through and deleting messages from reporters and producers and Sasquatch freaks.

Finding no sign of his wife in the kitchen, a flash of guilt washed through him — but he felt more relief than panic. He scrambled an egg and toasted some bread. The pulse of Julie’s hip-hop blared from her bedroom. Bob couldn’t bring himself to care.

As Devin maneuvered his car through the streets of Whitehorse, Rebecca rehearsed what she wanted to say. Nothing seemed right. She jangled her house keys and instructed Devin to make a left. It’s at the end of the road, the blue one with the white trim.

There were no satellite trucks or reporters scarfing back giant cinnamon buns while listening to music in the air-conditioned hubs of their rented SUVs. Rebecca found the city’s quiet unnerving after the busy Vancouver streets. Devin stopped the car in front of the Richman house. “Do you want me to go with you?” he asked.

“No. It’s okay. I don’t think so. But thanks.” Rebecca leaned over and kissed his neck.

“I’ll be right here.”

“It’s okay. You can go — really. I can meet you later.”

Devin patted her hand. “Don’t be silly. I’ll be right here.”

Rebecca closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. As she let her breath out she tried to relax her neck and shoulders the way Stacey said they did in her yoga class.

“Jesus Christ!” Bob Richman set down his book and made his way to the front door. The doorbell chimed again, again. He crept silently to the door, keeping his body tight against the wall. From this angle, he knew, no one could see or hear him. He stuck his head out from his body just enough so he could see through the peephole.

The doorbell chimed again. “Dad, I know you’re there. Can you open the door?”

Bob unlatched the deadbolts. He opened the door and hugged Rebecca. She pushed him away and crossed her arms. “I want you to tell me about my mother.”

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                                                                                                                                                          ©2008 pamela klaffke