We spent most of Friday watching the TV news, since the governor had ordered everyone in Boston and neighboring towns to stay indoors. Like many people, we spent our captivity catching up on the drama we'd missed while we were asleep, while hoping for new developments in the manhunt in Watertown.
The phone rang sometime after 11 that morning, about 5 hours into our news-watching. It was my brother, in New Jersey. People across the country were watching the situation unfold, I realized.
I checked the caller ID before answering. I greeted him by saying, "What?" My brother and I don't talk often but we are never formal in greeting each other.*
"Oh, good, you're home!" he said. "I'm glad I caught you. You're supposed to stay inside."
* "What?" is quite an improvement over our usual greeting: "Who died?" We have (or more accurately, "had") a number of elderly relatives, and since we don't call each other much — except around tax time, birthdays, Christmas, and emergencies — the worst-case scenario often comes to mind when we see the other sibling on the caller ID.