55. LockKaren hadn’t just changed the lock. She had upgraded it.

Danny pounded on the door. “Let me in, Karen!” he shouted. A couple of porch lights had come on, people wanting to know what was going on in the night. He didn’t care if the neighbors heard or not.

“Go away,” she said through the locked door. “I’m done with you! We’re done!”

“OPEN THE DOOR,” he said. “It’s my house!”

“I’m one step away from calling 911,” Karen said. “Don’t test me, Danny”

Danny took a step back from the door and felt himself go calm. The anger was still there — it was always there, these days — but he forced himself to look past it for now, to take stock of the situation.

Karen’s idea that they “take some time apart” had been a ruse, he now knew. Their last… disagreement had gotten physical, which he now regretted, but she pushed him. She was always pushing him. She should know that he had his limits.

Just like she was pushing him now.

“C’mon,” he said, changing tactics. “There’s no need for this. We can talk it over. Just let me in, and we’ll….”

“Go. Away,” Karen said through clinched teeth.

As Danny looked around the yard, ready to break a window if he had to, red and blue lights suddenly lit up the neighborhood, which told him that Karen had been bluffing about calling 911; she had already called as soon as she saw him pull into the driveway.