The next morning, I began the next phase. There had been a number of days where Julia’d had a particularly bad time at work—and I had generally been too wrapped up in myself to notice when she came home. Each of these days had pushed us a little further apart.
Finding them was a little tricky, as I hadn’t exactly marked them on a calendar, but if I paid attention as I fast-forwarded, and sometimes played Julia back in real-time, I could generally see how her day was going at work so I could see what mood she was in on the way home.
For each bad day, I reset the calendars and clocks, pulled the blinds so sunlight wouldn’t give away that it was still the middle of the day, and then ejected her to spend an hour of quality time, with foot-massages and gifts. Then it was back into the player and on to the next bad day. She never seemed to remember being put back into the player; it made sense though—loading and unloading a DVD does not change the movie.
At last, it was time to bring her back to the present…