The recent Lego castle and its associated left-over blocks were lying messily on the bottom shelf of the end table. They walked right past it as they brought in the remaining camping gear. It was 2:30pm.
“I’m sorry we had to come back early H-,” he said.
“It’s okay,” said H-. “You know, if we go hiking,” her eyes widened, “and there’s a thunderstorm,” another pause, “we might die.”
Chuckling at her summation of his endeavor to rationalize the trip’s early termination, he took a moment to clarify the lesson. “It’s not likely we’d die, I just wanted you to know that our safety, yours and mine, is what cancelled the trip. I was having a lot of fun with you, even in the rain.”
“Me too. I love camping.”
“In any case, I have to shower,” he started, “so can you play out here for a minute?”
“Sure,” she answered.
Then he remembered that he told the realtor they’d be gone for a few days, so there was no need to confirm that the house was open for showings. Attempting to prepare H- for any doors opening unexpectedly, he said, “Oh, and remember that people may be coming to the house. If anyone opens the door while I’m still in the shower, just tell them that your daddy’s showering, and he’ll be out in a moment.”
“Okay daddy!” she yelled as he turned on the water. “I’m just looking at the instructions for the castle!”
Like every time before, he left the door to the bathroom cracked just enough to be able to hear if she needed help.
Midway through the shower his heart leapt as he heard her voice. “What’s that H-?” he loudly inquired.
The shower’s noise again obscured her response.
“You’re going to have to talk louder H-!”
She couldn’t have more closely matched her previous volume if she tried.
“Look H-! I can’t hear you. Come to the door if its important,” he said, mad more at himself than her. Finally he cut the water and reaching for a towel, asked again, “What were you saying?”
“I said,” she labored, taking a breath, “TWO horses and ONE dragon!?”
“Lego’s crack marketing team strikes again,” he thought to himself, relieved. “Yes H-, there is another castle for sale that has two horses and a dragon, instead of the one you have, which has just one horse and no dragons,” Pete said dejectedly. “Maybe someday, if you’re lucky.”