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THE REST OF HER LIFE/Steve Yarbrough THE DOG was a mixture of god-knows-how-many breeds, but the vet had told them he had at least some rottweiler blood. You could see it in his shoulders, and you could hear it when he barked, which he was doing that night when they pulled up beside the gate and Chuckie cut the engine. "Butch is out," Dee Ann said. "That's kind of strange." Chuckie didn't say anything. He'd looked across the yard and seen her momma's car standing in the carport, and he was disappointed. Dee Ann's momma had told her earlier that she was going to buy some garden supplies at Western Auto and then eat something at the Sonic, and she'd said if she got back home and unloaded her purchases in time, she might run over to Greenville with one of the other teachers and watch a movie. Dee Ann had relayed the news to Chuckie tonight when he picked her up from work. That had gotten his hopes up. The last two Saturday nights her momma had gone to Greenville, and they'd made love on the couch. They'd done it before in the car, but Chuckie said it was a lot nicer when you did it in the house. As far as she was concerned, the major difference was that they stood a much greater chance of getting caught. If her momma had walked in on them, she would not have gone crazy and ordered Chuckie away, she would have stayed calm and sat down and warned them not to do something that could hurt them later on. "There're things y'all can do now," she would have said, "that can mess fall's lives up bad." Dee Ann leaned across the seat and kissed Chuckie. "You don't smell too much like a Budweiser brewery," she said. "Want to come in with me?" "Sure." Butch was waiting at the gate, whimpering, his front paws up on the railing. Dee Ann released the latch, and they went in and walked across the yard, the dog trotting along behind them. The front door was locked—a fact that Chuckie corroborated the next day. She knocked, but even though both the living room and the kitchen were lit up, her momma didn't come. Dee Ann waited for a few seconds, then rummaged through her purse and found the key. It didn't occur to her that somebody might have come home with her momma, that they might be back in the bedroom together, doing what she and Chuckie had done. Her momma still believed that if she could The Missouri Review · 284 tough it out a few more months, Dee Ann's daddy would recover his senses and come back. Most of his belongings were still here. Dee Ann unlocked the door and pushed it open. Crossing the threshold, she looked back over her shoulder at Chuckie. His eyes were shut. They didn't stay shut for long, he was probably just blinking , but that instant in which she saw them closed was enough to frighten her. She quickly looked into the living room. Everything was as it should be: the black leather couch stood against the far wall, the glass coffee table in front of it, two armchairs pulled up to the table at forty-five degree angles. The paper lay on the mantelpiece, right where her momma always left it. "Momma?" she called. "It's me and Chuckie." As she waited for a reply, the dog rushed past her. He darted into the kitchen. Again they heard him whimper. She made an effort to follow the dog, but Chuckie laid his hand on her shoulder. "Wait a minute," he said. Afterwards he could never explain to anyone's satisfaction, least of all his own, why he had restrained her. Earlier that evening, as she stood behind the checkout counter at the grocery store where she was working that summer, she had seen her daddy. He was standing on the sidewalk, looking in through the thick plate glass window, grinning at her. It was late, and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
pp. 184-205
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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