Night Walking (part 16)

It was late at night two weeks after the funeral when Phil released Henry into a nearby park. “Be healthy little guy, and stay away from the road,” he called, taking a video with his camera. Henry scampered into a thicket of salal without a backwards glance.

Wiping unexpected tears from his eyes, Phil reached into his coat pocket for a handkerchief and felt the book. He’d decided to give Jane Eyre to Tammy. She was too young for it, but it had been his mother’s favorite and he felt compelled to give it to her.

He walked to Tammy’s apartment, and was going to leave the book on their door step with a note, when the front door opened.

“Tammy,” he whispered. “Shouldn’t you be in bed?”

Tammy shrugged and stepped outside, closing the door behind her. “Can’t sleep. How’s Henry?”

Phil showed her the video. “He’ll be fine,” he said. “Oh, and here.” He pulled the book out of his pocket and held it out to her. “This was my mother’s favorite book,” he told her. “I think she’d like you to have it.”

Tammy smiled, rifling through the pages. “Thanks, Dr. Phil. Oh, what’s this?” She pulled out a scallope-edged black and white photograph and handed it to him.

Phil peered down at the photo of his mother laughing with his baby sister, who sat on her lap. He looked at Tammy, tears filling his eyes again. “I read from this every night to her, and I never saw this.”

“It was stuck at the end,” Tammy said. “Are you all right?”

“Yes, I’m fine,” he said. “Now you should get back inside.”

Tammy smiled up at him. “See you later?”

Phil nodded. “See you later.”

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