They had spent their first evening North in. They had agreed to watch their friends' young, figuring Alex would run them ragged, they would whirl like dervishes and crash...they didn't. So Theresa and Ben looked at each other with bloodshot jet lagged eyes, and Theresa tried not to think about her first day at the new job Monday...what would she wear? Everything was rolled up into travel fold, wrinkled and foreign to her now. Her skin was rejecting wool. It craved light cotton and low cut things. Soon she'd learn her Southern wardrobe (even with the warm layers heaped on top) would elicit honks and gestures and slowed cars in the rough part of town (but in Anchorage most parts were a little rough). In Tennessee things were low cut and light because it was 95 degrees the first of June through September and you'd be liable to suffocate if you wore wool. But the children weren't sleeping (except for Alex) and their friends weren't back and they weren't sure what time it was yet.
And no one was laughing usually. It was odd. The two couples usually guffawed involuntarily in each others' presence but so far there were only a few stiff necked, forced titters. There were rules now. Neatness standards. Names on water bottles. Space infringed upon. But they had asked us. Begged us to come. Thought Theresa. She was constantly raising her brows at Ben, trying to telepathically transmit this fact. "They asked us, didn't they?"
But Ben's neck would stiffen, and his jaw would clench, and he'd go down to their basement room. Theresa would soon follow and pull Alex's tiny hot hand down, too. Even if he wanted to play with the other children. Didn't matter.