Chapter 3

Phillip woke early, about twenty minutes before his alarm was to ring. This wasn’t necessarily wrong, he thought, as he tiptoed down the steps; it was just unusual for the cool weather. He hadn’t been overly warm, he didn’t have any pressing need to use the bathroom, and overall he didn’t want to get up just yet; he simply seemed incapable of falling back asleep. He knew better than to fight the signals of his body, and so he was going downstairs early.
What did seem immediately wrong to him was that both of the kids’ doors were also open. The bathrooms were occupied, though, with light filtering from under the door. He exhaled slowly, glad that there wasn’t anything seriously wrong. A glance into Jeanne’s room showed an unmade bed, while Gene’s bed was made. Matsuri was completely oblivious to his presence, as well as that of the world beyond the inside of her own eyelids.
Without much prompting, the kids typically managed to get themselves sorted out fairly quickly in the mornings. To this end, Phillip decided the best thing to do would be to go down to the kitchen and act as if nothing was wrong; he would offer to pass the time, once they were ready, with a couple of hands of cards. It was, he thought, the best way of handling an unexpected early morning.

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