“Jill stopped on the stairway, listening. She thought she heard a voice calling her from outside.… ‘What?’ Sam asked, patiently. It was almost midnight, and they’d been on their way to bed.… Their chubby golden retriever, Beef, was already upstairs, looking down at them from the landing.… ‘It’s nothing, I guess.’ Jill started back up the stairs, but Beef swung his head toward the front of the house and gave an excited bark. His tail started to wag, and Jill turned, too, listening again. Jill! Jill! ‘It’s Abby!’ Jill heard it for sure, this time.… ‘Abby who?’ Sam called after her. ‘Your ex’s kid?’ ‘Yes.’ Jill reached the front door, twisted the deadbolt, flicked on the porch light, and threw open the door.… Suddenly, a black SUV with only one headlight drove past, spotlighting a silhouette that Jill would know anywhere. It was Abby, but she was staggering down the sidewalk as if she’d been injured.… Jill tore through the rain.… Abby stumbled off of the sidewalk…took a few more faltering steps, then collapsed, crumpling to the grass. ‘Abby, Abby, what is it?’ … ‘Jill, Dad’s dead…he’s dead.… Somebody… killed him.’ Abby dissolved into tears, her body going limp, clinging to Jill.”
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