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“Honey, I’m home,” Joe muttered into the lamplit darkness. The house returned only silence for an answer.
Stellacadente entered his home after turning on the foyer light, then closed the door shut softly behind himself. He stepped further into the foyer, set down his keys, took off his coat, and noticed that a one a.m. light was filtering down from the upstairs bedroom hallway.
Joe knocked softly on his daughter’s door, then cracked it open when he heard an answer. “Don’t you have school in the morning, kiddo?”
“Exactly,” fifteen-year-old Lumenosa Stellacadente replied from a desk in one corner, facing a muted TV dominating another corner. “I’ve been waiting forever for you to get home.”
Joe couldn’t keep his jaw from dropping. “Waiting for what?”
“Waiting for you, dad.” Lumi muted the stereo with her remote. “I have a history paper due in the morning.” She pulled a binder from within the loose stack of binders, books, and paper on her desk and immediately started riffling through that binder’s sheets.
“So I am history,” Joe observed with a heavy lean of a hand on each doorjamb.
The daughter rolled her eyes at her father’s self-deprecation, then promptly ignored it. “We each have to write a paper on a portion of our family history as it relates to a major historical event.”
Joe removed a hand from a jamb to look at his watch. “You waited til after one in the morning to start this?”
“I’ve already covered the history angle.” Lumi hooked a thumb in the direction of her computer’s screen. “The Black Death in the fourteenth century.” Her pen was already on a blank sheet bound in the binder, and she looked up. “Now about the Stellacadente angle.”