Click here for Part One if you missed it.
“Well I’m not going,” I said. “I couldn’t even if I wanted to.”
My husband, Chris, handed me a plate to dry. It was part of a set we’d been given as a wedding present, an ugly grey print with some sort of animal on it. Rabbits or squirrels, I couldn’t tell. I’d hoped by now we would have broken enough of them to justify buying new plates, but they had proven annoyingly resilient.
“I mean, I can’t take an extra month off work,” I said.
“True,” said Chris. “Unless we didn’t go camping this year.”
“Then there’s the kids. Lily has track meets, and twins have their archery tournament. I can’t miss those.”
“Yup, we’re pretty busy. Except for the last weeks of June, and the first weeks of July.”
I threw my towel at him. “Do you want me to go?”
“No, of course not.” He planted a kiss on my forehead. “Unless that’s what you want.”
He handed me my towel back and we got on with the dishes. It wasn’t a prestigious task, but it did give us a chance to talk without the kids clamoring for our attention, since they all scattered after dinner lest they be roped into dish washing duty. We’d done dishes by hand by necessity after our dishwasher broke, and it had done so much for our communication we decided not to replace it.
“Do you think I should go?” I said.
“At this time, we can neither confirm nor deny…”
“I think if you really didn’t want to go we wouldn’t still be talking about it,” said Chris.
I sighed. What did it mean to want something?
I didn’t think I’d like visiting Echart and the others much. I remembered visiting with my parents as a child. It was awkward, the food was questionable, and their house smelled strange. It would be different as an adult, sure, but that didn’t mean it would be worth passing up our yearly camping trips.
I had always been something of a historian. Not in any kind of official or professional way, academia didn’t offer the kind of job security I was looking for back when I was making those sorts of decisions. But the origins of things fascinated me. Especially with the rise of reality TV shows about people’s ancestors.
My father’s side of the family were steadfastly uninterested in that sort of thing, so I’d never gotten far in my attempts at intergenerational sleuthing.
“Well, all right then. I’m going,” I said. “Now come here and kiss me properly.”
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