Were you talking to Jennifer while I was in the shower?
I just pressed re-dial and got her number. You were talking to her. Weren’t you?
When Emmy switches off the television it wakes Dale up. He rolls over on the sofa and looks at her. One side of his face bears the red imprint of the sofa pillow.
“I was watching that,” he tells her, as he always does.
It is their first year of living together. Emmy has just finished her third month on the evening shift at the hospital—her first job after passing the State Boards. Dale has worked three years on the day shift at the oil refinery.
“You were asleep,” she tells him.
“I just had my eyes closed,” he tells her. “I was still listening.”
“You were snoring,” she says, hanging her coat in the hall closet.
It is one of the games they play each night when she gets home—the kind of game that convinces Dale they really are a couple, even though their jobs keep them apart virtually every waking hour.
“I wasn’t asleep,” he insists.
“Right,” Emmy says. She…