Susan was angry again. Bob could hear her banging pots and pans—slamming cupboards, the way she did when she wasn’t in a forgiving mood.

He snuck out the back, went for a long walk up in the hills. The clouds converged and then rolled away, dark and dramatic like an opera. Bob crept along until the first tiny star peered down at him, suspicious.

By the time he got home, the place was silent. Bob stood on the front porch. The automatic light clicked on—a spotlight. His show was about to begin, but he’d forgotten his lines.

Through the window, he could see the pie inside on the table. Not an effort of love, but a grudging nudge toward it. He could see the pie. He opened the door. Tiptoed in.