The rain fell down heavy from dark clouds and struck his body like a thousand pebbles all at once. Each drop seemed to pass right through him before landing softly on the pavement. He didn’t feel the wetness of the rain, only the pain of it. He was a tall, slender man, except for the slight bulge about his mid-section. His hair was dark brown and thick and short but wet it looked black and thin pressed down on his receding hairline. He had a boyish face except for the puffiness under his brown eyes that gave away his late 30’s age. His arms dangled at his sides with his keys clutched in his right hand and a closed tall golf umbrella in his left. Absently, with his soft-sided faux leather briefcase shoved under his left arm, he just stood there next to his jet black Lexus, eyes cast down, absorbing the pain. The light from the open garage in front of him did not seem to penetrate the outside making it appear as if there was a glass wall between him in the cold rain and the dry warmth inside.
A slow squeak caught his attention and he lifted his head. In the doorway between the garage and the house he could see four eyes staring at him. He squinted through the rain and the pain and saw the flowing auburn hair of his oldest daughter and the light golden ponytail sticking straight up in the middle of the head of his youngest daughter. They blinked. He looked down. The rain fell harder.
How was he going to tell her? She would do what needed to be done, he knew that, but it didn’t make it hurt any less. There would be fewer smiles from her for some time or maybe no smiles ever again. Oh how he lived for her smiles! They were enormous and lit up her face brighter than the sun. He could get blinded by just one of those smiles. He lived a lifetime in each moment she smiled. Now they would be gone. Their future changed. Their everything unknown...
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