"Di, I can't tell you how I appreciate this."
"Go. It's good for me. Honestly, a couple of days with Charlie and the gang and teenagers start to look easy again!"
Di's ninth and youngest was still at home, in all likelihood reveling in the chance to sit down with his father in the basement with a pizza and the Black Hawks game and no need to carry on a conversation.
Kate handed off her suitcase to the cabbie and Charles to Di and let the storm door slam behind her. In the cab, she pulled on her gloves. Good, she would be early for the train. She hated the tension of running behind schedule, her mind running through an ever expanding set of possibilities: if she missed the 11:42, would there be a seat on the 12:15? and could she get in touch with Mielke before he left the university for the station? The decision tree branched in her head like the vines in a Disney cartoon, intent on tying the princess down. She breathed in the sudden spaciousness and leaned back against the seat.
Eyes closed, she didn't notice the kitchen curtains flicking aside as the cab headed down the hill. The first phone was ringing before the cab hit the stop sign by the elementary school.