The boy pushed the food around his plate practising the unaskable question that rolled around in his head. It had churned around for days, no, weeks now and it felt like it was eating his insides out. His mother and brother ignored his moodiness and talked of this and that – even laughed out loud. She reached over the table to his older brother, caressing his cheeks. A loud sigh, a dramatic push of the boy’s plate and then a slump back in his chair all passed without them seeming to notice. The evening was tidied away and orders were made to go to bed.
The boy lay on his bed with the doona over his head whispering the question he already knew the answer to. Dad was not coming back.