Joanie grabbed the jug out of Tasha's hand. Condensation didn’t mix well with Joanie's tiny fingers. The jug bounced twice, gushing cold chalky white 2%. Tasha screamed, "look what you did!"
Little Joanie sniffled before her cries reached painful decibels.
Footfalls shook the house. "What have you done now?" reached them before their father's bare feet landed on the linoleum. He rolled his eyes, huffed, and exhaled: "Girls."
With puffy eyes, Joanie looked up, her nose dripping, and a saliva bubble hung on her lips.
Tasha stared at Joanie, her brow furrowed, her lips pursed. "She did it," Tasha pointed.
"It's done," their father said. "Grab a towel." He kicked the jug, "is there any left?"
Tasha picked up the milk jug and shook it, "a little."
It took a full-sized bath towel and the kitchen sponge to spot mop the spill zone. "Amanda would kill me," their dad chuckled.
"What's funny, daddy?" Joanie asked.
Rather than answering her he asked, "are you ready for your movie?"
"Yes!" the girls shouted.
"Go get your movie stuff," he ordered with a slight grin as they dashed down the hall and disappeared into their rooms. He returned to the wash, quickly ringing out the pale white liquid. When he made it into the living room the girls were laid out on the floor. They had their pillows, the couch pillows, all their blankets and a couple of mysterious juiceboxes recovered from some unknown hiding spot of Tasha's. As soon as the movie started the girls were enthralled. He sat back on the couch with his pencil and Sudoku magazine.
The movie worked. The girls slept. Finished with the puzzle, he put the magazine down stretched his back and popped his neck. He walked out the back door onto the porch. Three mid-sized mutts came running up. "Go on. Get," he waved. Each one bumped his hand with its nose, before it ran off to sniff grass or pee on lost toys. In the garden, the sun warmed his neck and shoulders. The tomatoes were plump, red. Cucumbers were enormous. The squash and bell peppers needed a few more days. He gazed at his house: garage, picnic table, the plastic kiddie pool. Watched the wind blow through the pear tree at the same time he felt it caress his arms and face. "Amanda, love, I'm sorry you'll never see our home," he turned to the sky, eyes strained into bright baby blue that perfect daylight. He fought back the rock that stuck in his throat.
Then he heard the crash...