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Damon lifted a cardboard box off the coffee table in the living room and moved it onto the carpet next to the couch. He felt sweat under his armpits. This was not the first box he moved. A line of four more boxes lined up next to the one Damon placed down. Hinotomi emptied the first two. She sorted the contents of each box into three categories. The first category was lab instruments. These consisted of any beakers, Bunsen burners, tongs, scales, and measuring cups. The second category was technology, like old computers, typewriters, floppy disks, and CDs. The final category was files. Each file was bound in a manila envelope. Some had writing to mark what it was, some did not. What every file did have was a large red stamp saying: Rejected.
Damon aired himself out. “Why did we accept this job again? I actually wanted a weekend for once. Maybe I could actually watch a game.”
“I did it because it was the right thing to do,” Hinotomi said. “Jerry said that he wanted everything out of storage and sorted before we moved locations.”
“Most of this is junk,” Damon said. He took a seat on the coffee table.
“Some of this is pretty cool.” Hinotomi picked up another file folder about to burst with extra paper. “Also, you’re not allowed to comment on getting to watch your football. I have not been able to see Spider-Man in the movie theater since the second one. The original second one.”
“I said I would take you on a date for the other however many.”
Hinotomi shook her head. “We just lost time.”
“Yeah,” Damon said. He looked at a picture of the three of them. The whole family. Kyane stood in the middle of him and Hinotomi. She held both their hands. The sun was behind her head. He remembered thinking his daughter looked like an angel. Damon rubbed his pant legs. “I should apologize.”
“Just give it a break tonight,” his wife said. She placed a free floppy disk onto a pile of other disks.
“I just feel so bad. I mean I just don’t know what to do. She’s such an asshole. I love her to pieces, but she’s a giant ass.”
“I think it’s just a phase. Every kid has them.”
“Still.” Damon stood up. “I’ll move this case,” he looked at the black case with the silver D13 on top, “then I’ll go talk to her.” Hinotomi sighed. Damon walked over. He braced himself for the heavy lifting he was about to do. He grabbed the handle then pulled. The case arose from the cushion with no problem. His eyes widened. “No.” He placed the case back down.
“What?” Hinotomi went to him.
“She wouldn’t.” Damon opened the latch. The lid raised up mechanically. The lights from the tableside lap shown on the black foam to reveal an empty case. “Dammit!” Damon got up and rushed to the garage. He swung the door open and turned the light on. He didn’t need to look hard to realize Kyane’s bike was gone. He shook his head.