Morning. She slumps into a kitchen chair. I pour cereal at the counter with my back to her. I wear my plastic smile, the cracked one. She doesn't own such a thing, yet.
She whines. She demands. It starts. My skin crawls and my smile breaks in two. I give her what she asked for and quit the room. The baby is crying.
I disappear in the dark. Sink into the rocker. The door is open and I look out. Backstage.
The hallway is a dim tunnel. A soft light condenses at the other end. He sets his work bag on the floor next to the couch and takes her into his lap. She rests her head on his chest. Wrinkles his shirt. His low voice drifts down the hall. I unclench my teeth. She giggles.
There it is. The part I forgot. Good morning.