Annie’s father was a short, chubby man. A pudgy nose dominated a red face dominated by tiny ears, which drew attention almost by not being there. He pulled his rusty-colored hair back tightly, holding it in a long thin, braided tail, which dropped down to the middle of his back. He wore expensive, dark suits with buttoned vests. His eyesight never weakened. Even now, a week after his eightieth birthday—Annie didn’t bother to call him on his birthday, although she always remembered it—he did not need reading glasses to edit the research papers that his colleagues still sent him for review.
His return was never a relief for Annie and her siblings. His first day home was always good. He brought gifts for all the kids, and they went out to a restaurant to celebrate. But their happiness never lasted long.