November 18

And then there were the kids. The study guides were getting harder, and the kids were starting to express frustration at this. He knew, of course, that it was all evaluations and gauging; once Katherine was satisfied that they were, in fact, too hard, the difficulty would be scaled back. He felt marginally dirty, keeping that secret from the children; then again, he did sign up for this, and he was sure they’d be able to figure it out soon enough. They were, after all, very smart.
He wondered if he’d come into their lives too late; they’d had six years of pain a piece, he thought, and there are some wounds that time can’t heal. He knew they loved him. When they said it, they meant it. He loved them, as well; the matter of genetics was completely irrelevant.
Phillip looked up at the steps; Jeanne was out on the front porch, shivering. “I thought you were home,” she said. “Hi.”
“Hi yourself,” he replied. “You guys have a good day at school?”
“Yeah,” she said. “Rob’s here, just so you know. We called Ms. Mirielle.”
“Great,” he said, grinning. “I’m gonna get you guys back for that game of Clue last week.”
Jeanne rolled her eyes. “You wish,” she said. “Hey, Phillip?”

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