Still fingering the desiccated, crispy leaves of his plants, he hears the tired scraping footsteps stumble into the room and the muffled thudding of a body falling onto the couch. **unwatered, unloved** He stiffens, wondering if she is watching him. Finally, the words that have tumbled like a captured surf roll over his tongue, and he pours out his apology to her. He feels he is crying, but he pushes on. His last pleading sentence is punctuated by a sudden snore. **Has she been asleep the entire time?**
Too possessed by wonderment to be upset, he turns just in time to see the cat streak out of the room, belly touching the floor. **What is he up to?** Moments later, Nora screams for help, and her mother drags herself into the kitchen. He follows her. **Ah, a mouse.** Satisfied that all is well, he seeks his son.