Chapter 6 – February 12C

“The tournament, at Midland.” Hand on the door handle, Annie kept her back turned to Rune. “That’s when it started. Been racking my brain, trying to figure out when it happened, and it just came to my now, it was that Saturday.”

Rune waved greasy hair off his brow. “It’s been a tough month.” He swallowed. “The weather, it’s been so bad, it’s making people — I don’t know, not act like themselves . . . ” Hearing the insincerity of his words, he forced himself to stop.

“I call, leave you a message, you don’t call back. I see you in the hall, you duck into a room.” He knew she would know his schedule. “At practice, you hardly say two words to me.”

An invisible force seemed to be bearing down on him. “Look, I know I’ve — ”

“And it’s not just me.” Now she turned, faced him with a look of compassionate accusation. “The way you talk at practice, to Coach Dan, The Bird, OK — even Butch, your best friend, you humiliated him the other day.”

He considered taking his jacket, walking out the door, then remembered he was home. “Butch and I, we’re always doing stuff like that to each other.” The look on her face revealed she knew he was lying. “All right, all right, so I’ve been a little off lately. I just, I don’t know, haven’t been feeling right.”

“Remember what you said to me, that Saturday, during the tournament at Midland?”

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