Rebirth: Chapter iii - Tell Tales by Roy Neyman

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"I was just saying I thought we'd throw Anderson a little party, ...you know, for his birthday." It had taken a while, but they'd finally trained Darrell not to call him Andy. "Maybe make him take the afternoon off afterwards. What do you think? Would that cheer him up or bum him out?"
"I think he'd like that, actually," she said in a reflective tone. He'd probably go in the Saturday after to make up for the lost time, but he always seemed more satisfied with what he could accomplish in the quiet of a relatively empty office. "Yeah, that'd be a good idea," and Marcy had let the conversation close with a few meaningless niceties.
Mincing around a little puddle in the forest path, she let her thoughts drift with the damp air. Just the other night she'd awoken to Anderson kind of humming in his sleep. Not humming, but a soft thrummm, thrummm, thrummm deep in his throat, almost his chest. He had the same look on his face as he'd had that dappled afternoon under the trees in the park. Peaceful. Serene. She gazed at him a little while and nestled her head back into her pillow. When she awoke in the morning she couldn't be sure if the strange sound had stopped or whether it had just lulled her to unconsciousness. She'd had happy dreams, though, and felt refreshed.
Anderson had to be nudged a bit before he stirred, even though his phone had buzzed insistently several times on the bedside table. Bzzt, bzzt. Bzzt, bzzt. Bzzt, bzzt. A few seconds, then again. Bzzt, bzzt. Bzzt, bzzt. Bzzt, bzzt. Already awake, Marcy watched as Anderson slid the touch screen control bar to the right on his iPhone. "Time to get up, honey," she murmured in his ear as she draped her left arm over his waist, snaking her hand up across the fur of his chest.
"Yeah, I know," he sighed, then pushed himself out of bed, drew on his terry cloth robe and shuffled into the bathroom. Always thoughtful, he closed the door with a quiet snick before turning on the light. She listened as he peed. A handful of long, morning seconds later she heard water running in the sink. He'd shave, then turn off the light and take his shower in the dark. What an odd man, Marcy thought. Later Anderson had lingered unusually long over toast and eggs, a small glass of lemonade on the side. Finally he hoisted himself up and out the door with a little kiss for Marcy before he left. He didn't look unhappy, just resigned, a different sort of serenity on his face. It was more of a cloud than an aura.
She'd have to poke at Anderson a little bit on this. Their relationship had always been one of respectful concern, a wonderful mixture of casual privacy and sharing. They each let the another's thoughts baste in the juices of internal reflection, but had a way of expressing interest that eventually brought the tender morsels to the surface for both to nibble away at. Something was bothering him and it was time to stir the pot.