Under the overhangs of The Hills’ forests and blue metal quarries, where the couple had moved with their new baby to start over, the red-brick house with its Spanish arches held them uneasy, restless. He was being treated for his addictions, though that wasn’t going so well, and she was starting to take an interest in continuing her education—if not going back to school, which she couldn’t stand, finding another way towards something other than what she had.
He would leave the house during the day to go nowhere, though maybe talking with the old orchardist living in his tin shed down along the thin river among his groves of citrus trees was going somewhere. They would lean against the old tractor and talk about aphids and the new baby. One morning he went to have a chat, and the old man was gone. There had been mention of a son who wanted his father to sell the orchard, which would be filled with suburb, but the old man resisted. My son is a businessman, and he will have me put in a home and take all this over and sell it to developers.
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