She's just eight, well-loved, never had her mom go away before. Mother would be gone a week. Gramma moved in to be there when Dad was working. She was glad to see her grandmother, happy and well-adjusted as usual.
They went out for breakfast three times to McDonald's before school. When you're eight, that's pretty cool. They went to the Dollar Store where it took her 20 minutes to figure out what to spend her dollar on. One evening, she and Gramma played games before bedtime.
Yup. A real good week.
Thursday night after supper, Dad was loading the dishwasher while she read on the couch. Gramma was reading at the table. The phone rang. Her mom was calling her dad.
They talked about arrangements to pick her mom up at the airport on Sunday, then her dad called her to the phone.
She listened intently. Said, "yes, no, uh-huh" a few times. Her voice was soft and tentative. She hung up and went back to her book. She bent over it intently.
Gramma watched from the table. Then she said, "Sometimes when you are missing someone, it hurts more to hear their voice, doesn't it?"
After a moment, she said, "yes." Her voice was choked.
She went on reading. Gramma returned to her book.