Chapter II.
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In the morning I awoke to the sound of lawnmowers and miscellaneous landscaping machinery that is often the suburban symphony on Saturday forenoons. Upstairs I saw that Shelley had made the bed before leaving, though this time without a note. I made coffee and took off to Hydeman Park for a run. The sun failed to break through the overcast skies as I rounded the course amidst youth soccer games and picnic preparations. After three miles I collapsed on a bench, my shins burning and my lungs ready to burst. In the distance I heard the deep bark of a large dog. The overcast skies were getting darker, and I headed home before the rain began.

The house was empty. It always felt empty these days. I took a quick shower and went down to the basement. Though noiseless I felt the...

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