The clink of the glass against the table interrupted the silence that layered the usual mornings before school. John wiped the milk mustache off his face, and started for the sink to rinse his plate and put his glass away. He heard a few pats of feet on the floor behind him.
"It's going to be strange not having waffles for breakfast anymore, huh?"
John glanced at his sluggish mother as she yawned and took a seat at the kitchen table, and then took a hard look at his plate. He concentrated on the taste of the sugary syrup lingering in a few spots of his teeth.
"I'll live." John grinned, and she answered him with a weary smile.
"It was good to see your dad last night. I missed him." Pausing thoughtfully, she reached for the newspaper laying on the table. "We're blessed he has this job, you know."
He flinched as the sorrow suddenly resurfaced. Throwing his backpack over his shoulders, he tugged at the red metallic box