They tidy the kitchen together companionably, silent for a while. **I must begin to talk with them again.** She washes the dishes thoughtfully while her daughter dries them. "Nora, how have you been doing lately?" She purposefully asks an open-ended question, hoping for the best, but Nora's reply disappoints her. Her daughter assures her that school is fine, her friends are fine, etc. in a tone of voice that indicates annoyance at her invasive questioning. **That's not really what I was going for.** Mickey tries to jump on the counter, but she pushes him off. They finish cleaning in a silence more strained than friendly.