Second ChildhoodMarco picked up his son and took him away from the wail-filled bedroom, so his wife could take care of her father. Over the last months the old man had deteriorated; by now he was so confused he could hardly speak, and threw tantrums like a toddler. His little grandson at the same time had grown quiet, watching with wide eyes. The boy knew his parents thought his grandfather’s behaviour disturbed him. That was all right. He also knew quite soon they would be thrilled with how smart he would turn out. The same had happened a lifetime ago.
EngrossedThe party boiled around Quentin, filling his ears with white noise. He had dived deep into a book and only surfaced to chat, and smile at someone else rather than himself, when someone addressed him directly. That person usually was Fay, but as the evening went on even she left him alone in favour of talking to friends she met rarely. So late in the evening it was turning into early morning, her approaching laughter, much louder than usual, had him look up. Fay hung on the arm of a taller woman, face flushed and movements just a little erratic. "Here, Quen, this is Eve. I told you about her, right?" Nothing good, actually, but since Fay seemed to be having fun, he smiled, shook hands, and did smalltalk that quickly grew into goodbyes. Fay snuggled into the passenger seat, seeming to nod off, but when they turned onto their street she said, "Sometimes I wish you'd enjoy these things mo