* * *
Her dad had been nervous that night. He’d almost left home without taking his phone, where his notes were saved for his speech.
Zoe had come trotting in from the kitchen, holding the phone gingerly in her mouth.
“Good girl,” Ayn said, as Zoe dropped the phone onto her outstretched hand. “Don’t forget this,” she said.
“Thanks, Ayn.” He smiled and kissed the top of her head. “Our lives are about to change again in a very big way. You know that, right?”
“I know,” Ayn said quietly.
“You know that I have to do this, right?”
Ayn nodded, not meeting his eyes.