There it is.
The chapter I lost and had to write again from near scratch (I’d texted bits of dialogue to my wife so I was able to recover that).
Wade can feel there is something his wife and teenage daughter are hiding from him, but he didn’t expect exactly how his world is about to be flipped upside down.
It got darker than I had anticipated.
Something was going on.
Wade wasn’t quite sure what yet, but he was good at reading body language—a skill that came in handy in his line of work as a lawyer—and the way his wife and their teenage daughter were exchanging glances and clearly having one of their silent conversations when they thought he wasn’t looking left him in no doubt that they were hiding something.
He’d had a great afternoon with the boys at the water park, for their weekly dose of ‘man time’ as they referred to it, then he’d taken them for ice cream. Celia had got home not long after them, without Abi who, he was told, was spending time with her boyfriend, Nico. Wade had gone for a run and, as he was turning onto their street on his way back, he had been surprised to see his sons wave at him from his mother-in-law’s car as they drove past. When he’d walked into the house Celia had told him Nico would be joining them for dinner and sent him off to have a shower after a kiss that caused Abi to fake dry-retching noises.
He’d come back downstairs to find Celia cooking her famous BBQ ribs and special slaw while Abi was getting started on caramel dumplings for pudding. While it wasn’t unusual for their sixteen-year-old daughter’s boyfriend to join them for dinner, the menu struck Wade as a bit out of the ordinary. Added to that the fact that Celia had sent the boys to spend the night at her parents’, something was definitely going on. What, he wasn’t quite sure yet. He knew they would tell him when they were ready; past experiences had taught him that pressing for an answer nearly always ended up in a lot of yelling, tears (theirs) and frustration (his).
So he got himself a beer and chatted with Nico after Celia shooed them out of the kitchen. The boy had a good head on his shoulders, all thanks to his mother and his stepfather, and he had a lot of plans for the future. He was also very respectful of Abi’s wishes and that helped Wade forget the two sixteen-year-olds were sexually active.
Ah yes, that had been a fun conversation… Continue reading