Laine drove toward the cabin hoping for serenity.
On the porch, she watched fog evaporate with the rising heat while familiar apathy weighed.
Henry’s words stabbed. “It was a dog. Not your kid.”
Because he never wanted to have kids, a lie divulged when she found college-tuition paperwork for a dependent. “With her” ricocheted.
Dottie had never been just a dog, but a shadow when Henry “traveled” or “worked late,” unconditional joy in darkness, the unjudging audience.
Laine held the urn to her heart then tossed Dottie’s ashes into the wildflower meadow. “Run free, baby girl, for me.”