I walked back to where I’d come from, my boots scuffing on the straight carpet. He was sitting in his usual pose, crammed against one side of the square armchair, a stapled stack of paper covering his face. I loved him so much and suddenly this was normal.
“Hey,” I said, stepping lightly on his foot. “I’m so happy.”
And I didn’t need to worry or wait anymore. I had worried and waited for months and now I was here, in this room, with the lights humming overhead and the smell of his laundry detergent and the quiet hush of being back where I belonged. He smiled like he only smiles for me (or so I like to think) and looked back down at his reading. I picked up my book, propped it against my knees, and disappeared in my own happiness.