They sat on their bed and spoke as honestly as possible.
“Everything is so dirty,” she said. “Will nothing ever be clean?”
“They will,” he said, but what he meant was that they needed to check her medication again.
“Do you think Snapdragon is mad at me?” she asked.
“He’s with Daisy and Chelsey,” he said, and what he meant was that their son would be fine.
“It was nice seeing him,” she said.
“It’s Rose’s birthday,” he said, and what he meant was that the focus should be on their daughter, the quiet one who never drew attention to herself, that in all the chaos she had celebrated her birthday and nobody had been there, not even to give a present, not even to see if she was okay.
“I’m tired,” he said.
“It was a big day,” he said, and what he meant was that she should sleep so that he could at least wish their daughter a happy birthday, somebody should.
“Good night,” she said.
“Good night,” he said, and what he meant was good night.
Then he got up and hugged his daughter and didn’t think about his wife for the rest of the night.