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Not Return Home

I almost snuck away to California except my son had climbed the tower again. I called my mother to inform her of the ongoing situation. I'm not sure whether I would have returned home, but my plan was not to, and I didn't care how my husband would feel.

"He's up there again," I said to my mother. She asked if I still planned on coming. "Yes, his father went up after him, they'll be descending soon. I fly out next Tuesday. Please have my room ready."

Assuming myself condemned, I approached my neighbors gathered there at the foot of the tower in the center of town.

"Are they done talking?"

Someone handed me a pair of binoculars. My son was returning to the ground. His father, however, was not.

I married his father when construction on the tower began. At some point, we had a son. I used to admire my husband's enthusiasm for such a mundane task as pouring concrete.

As I walked towards the tower to fetch my son, I noticed the speck of my husband's body. He jumped, and I don't remember if I screamed or ran or stood still, but I know I still didn't care how he would feel if I left.

Story by:

Patrick Pineyro

25 November 2016