black white_0251.docx - for the fi nal time A faint breeze...

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for the fi nal time. A faint breeze told him that he had sweated through his clothes without being aware of it. The air smelled of tar and the dumpsters on the corner, but to Robert it seemed fi ne. He lit a cigarette and leaned for a moment against the driver’s side of the Chevelle. His brain was starting to thaw. He refused to let it speculate. Mercy was still awake when he got home. “I need to shower,” he said, stripping off his damp clothes. “It was dusty at the site.” “What happened?” “Nothing,” Robert said. “We drove out to the site and back again. It could be Mitch was worried about Barrett and wanted me there. I don’t know.” Though there was nothing strictly untrue in what he’d said, he knew he had just lied to her for the fi rst time. He watched himself do it with sadness, and yet no other possibility seemed available. Later, maybe, when he knew more, they would talk. After the baby was born. “Mitch is losing his mind,” Mercy said, turning away from him. “Hurry up and come to bed. You need your sleep.” Robert
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