The cabinet door gave a little squeak as it closed.

James had been quiet the whole way back to the cabin, and although the silence was uncomfortable, I felt like there was nothing I could say to break it.

We prepared a soup for lunch out of dehydrated potato soup mix, kidney beans, and chicken broth that was going to expire in a few months. I stirred the contents in a small pot on the stove as James sat at the kitchen table and stared out the window. His expression was resolutely serious.

He looked deep in thought and I hesitated to break the trance he held with the scenery outside the window to tell him lunch was ready.  I quietly announced that food was ready as I set the spoon down on the decorative holder in the middle of the stove and James nodded in acknowledgment. He rose, bracing himself with his hands as he went.

I set aside two bowls and spoons on the counter and turned to face him as he walked over to me.

“Thank you.” His voice was deep and clear as he stood in front of me, his eyes meeting mine.

“You are welcome.” I forced an uneasy smile in reply, “You okay?”

“Yeah,” He picked up his bowl and spoon, “Just thinking.”

“That’s dangerous.” I winked at him.


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