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Your father forgets to bring home dinner.

It's not that big of a deal, really, because when Delia says, "um, food?" to him, he smacks his palm into his forehead and offers to take the two of you out. Which is fine, it's very nice, it's not like dinner is the end of the world.

"Ephram, are you going to come?" your father asks you.

It's not that big of a deal, except in how for maybe, five minutes, you hated him again desperately for being too busy to think of you and Delia. You called him an asshole in your head, and you thought about how you were going to ream him out when he got home for being too busy and being too much of a doctor to be a good father.

This five minutes was precisely between seven oh three and seven oh eight. You know because Futurama was just over, and your stomach had growled insistently, and suddenly you realized that your father was late.

It ended when he came in the door at seven oh nine, face red and breath visible in the air, and said, "Boy, it's cold out there."

Delia rushed over to hug him, and you suddenly felt guilty, because your dad, he hadn't been working, you remembered. He wasn't working.

He was at Colin's grave. And each minute he was late was another minute he'd been standing outside in below-freezing temperatures.

"Come on, I thought you were starving," your dad says again, with a bit of a grin.

The front door is already open, Delia's bundled all up against the chill. Your dad, as he speaks, lets out breath, visible and misty even in your living room. His grin isn't real, his life is slipping out of his mouth, between his lips, and leaking into the living room. You're watching it happen.

Your dad jangles the car keys impatiently, and doesn't seem to notice.