Half an hour before our alarm went off, getting ready to go and eerie feeling

1. The sound of Bettany's alarm followed by her footsteps on the stairs and the unique thump of her armful of school clothes hitting the floor, and then with a wriggle and some rearrangements, she is lying between us.

2. As I work I am half aware of Nick filling his suitcase, muttering things he needs to remember, and things I need to remember while he is away.

3. The first time the bell goes, there is a parcel on the doorstep, but no sign of any driver. Moments later, an email lands in my inbox with a photo of the parcel and our closed front door.

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