When Daniele got her first job out of college, her brother drove several hundred miles to help her move into her apartment. The day before he headed back home, he bought her a parakeet. “You’ll need company,” he said, “since you’ll probably stay home and read every night.” He softened the criticism with a wry smile. It worried him that Daniele had so few friends and such a lack of interest in men. She had taken a job so far away from him or any of their family, it seemed like a deliberate ploy to cut herself off from their love and support.
She inspected the tiny bird crouched miserably on the bottom of his cage. His feathers, white and arctic blue marked with gray shell patterns, made her think of northern fjords. “I don’t think they allow pets here, Michael.”
“They allow birds. I checked with your landlord.”
Her eyes met Michael’s with the tenderness and hostility that had made their love a wrestling match through childhood and a contest of wills ever since. “Running my life again, huh?”
“Saving your life if you let me.