Several weeks later, an excited Jack and Betty brought Robert to a newly constructed bungalow on Ludlow Street in Oak Park. All the houses were brand new: all the same, in neat little rows, with no trees and no grass.
“Da, come in and tell me what you think.”
The three walked in, and Jack and Betty waited in the front room while Robert looked around, inspecting the main floor, basement, and attic.
“Seems fine. The whole subdivision is new?”
“Yes. Built for returning servicemen and their families. That’s what we were told.”
“And you have no problem affording it?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“And you like it, Betty?”
“Oh, yes! It will be fun having my own house! I just wish we could afford carpet. Hardwood floors are so cold.”
“Well then, Jack, I think you’ve found your house.”
Betty beamed at her husband and, with an excited little squeal, went into the kitchen to look at it once more.
Robert pulled Jack towards the front door, still open and allowing the late afternoon sun to stream across the freshly finished pinewood floor.
“Jack, I will get carpet for the front room for you. But you have to make me a promise.”
“What’s that, Da?”
“If I ever ask – ever – you must promise you’ll take care of your mother.”
Jack, obviously surprised, furrowed his brow as he looked at his father.
“What? That’s a strange request, Da. Are you ill?”
“No, son… It’s just that you never know what’s going to happen. Will you do that for her? For me?”
“Of course, Da. She’s my mum.”
Robert extended his hand, and Jack shook it.
“We are men of our word, Jack. What color carpet?”
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