“They used to call this neighborhood Dolores Heights,” Jack called from the bedroom.
“What?” Katherine was counting his pills in the kitchen. The pill splitter was lost and she nicked her first finger trying to split one with a steak knife.
“Dolores Heights. When I was growing up here.”
Katherine stepped backwards from the counter. She could see down the railroad of the hall to the bedroom and Jack was sitting up in bed. He’d pulled open the red curtains and with light behind him he looked healthy.
“I said, ‘Dolores Heights!’” The dog upstairs started barking.
She came down the hallway with the pills and the coffee in the same hand. She was sucking on the cut in her finger.
“Oh, Kathy,” he said. She put down his coffee. She handed him the pills and showed him the little white slice made by the knife. “It’s nothing,” he said. His legs under his blanket seemed impossibly small. Another trick of the light.
“You didn’t sleep,” she said and touched his cheek.
“That dog!” There was a Scottish terrier in the in-law apartment.
“You should kick them out.”
Jack looked at the ceiling like he was going to go up there right now. He smacked the side of the bed. “It’s not bad, really.”
He swallowed the pills dry and then she bent and kissed him hard on each cheek. “OK, love, I’m meeting Sarah for lunch. Drink your coffee this time.”
The neighbors’ Prius was right out front. The key to Jack’s house was still in her hand. She looked at his window and could see the back of his head between the red curtains. The little dog in the apartment above was watching her. She looked up the hill toward the Sanchez steps and then down the hill toward the park. The sprinklers were on and a groundskeeper was cutting the grass. She dragged the key across the hood.