“Mr. Kendrick? It’s Regina.” I step inside.
The table is covered with dirty dishes, books, and papers. There’s a weird smell like the lid of the garbage can is open. Buck and Thornton rush from the back hallway and circle me. When I take one step toward the kitchen, the dogs rush ahead and stand over empty bowls. I pick up the water bowl and refill it at the sink, moving aside more dirty dishes.
“Where is everyone, guys?” I ask the dogs as I set the bowl down. They slurp it up, pushing each other out of the way.
I find the bag of kibble in the pantry and drop a few handfuls in the other two bowls. The noise of their crunching masks the sound of Mr. Kendrick walking in behind me. When I turn and spot him, I jump back. He’s wearing his usual old cardigan, but the front of his shirt is stained, and his hair is sticking up on one side like he just got out of bed, even though it’s late afternoon. He rubs his eyes. They’re red and ringed in dark skin.
“Mr. Kendrick. Hi. The door was open—”
He waves me off from any further explanation. “Hello, Regina. How are you?”
He turns and shuffles to the living room before I can answer.
“Mr. Kendrick, I came over to see how you’re doing. They let me in to see Declan.”
He falls into his armchair like someone took a baseball bat to the back of his legs.
“How is he?”
His face is so hopeful I hate to tell him the truth.
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