For a while, Saturdays returned to normal. Shredded wheat in the morning. Meandering nearby neighborhoods. Walking and watching his breath float into the air.
Usually he’d hear Joan strumming through her latest pop song project. Easy to eavesdrop. She never closed her bedroom window. Joan didn’t like closed windows.
Eventually, neither did he. Closed windows were for cowards.
And then one day, the relapse was over. A snap of the fingers. A crack in the woods. It was on, and then it was off.
Eggs for breakfast and let’s stay in. Home is safe. His room, a castle. He wore only robes. He covered his windows: first in cardboard, then in foil.
But he left clues. He left Joan a message. This is what it said—
Dear Joan, I’m sorry. I need more velvet in my life. Love, Peter.