Today I told him how difficult it is for the rest of us to treat him nicely when he is being so unkind.
"I have to go do something," he muttered after I'd said my piece.
I should have figured out what he was up to when he retrieved a bandanna from downstairs and spread it out carefully on his bed. I was still clueless when he tied the corners together around something he'd placed in the middle. It wasn't until he tied the bundle to a stick, put it over his shoulder, and headed for the door that I put it all together.
"Are you running away?" I asked.
His hand was on the doorknob and he nodded yes at me. But--
"I don't need to if you don't want me to."
His eyes were huge and suspiciously damp. He appeared to be holding his breath as he waited for me to answer.
It was not the time for teasing.
"I don't want you to run away," I said.
So he didn't.