Lange had intentionally been brief with Ruess about Rebecca. It wasn't so much he was trying to conceal, as he just didn't know what to say. Or actually, he wouldn't know where to stop. The truth is he'd like to scream RUESS, YOUR WIFE IS DEAD AND GONE, BUT MINE IS DEAD AND STILL HERE. But the only way to scream via email is to type in all caps, something Lange simply refused to do.
It was a late Sunday afternoon when Karen broke the news, whimpered I'm pregnant. Lange sat stunned, but Rebecca suddenly sprung to attention, soldiering around her only daughter with strength and we'll get through this, sweetheart. Seven days later, late in the afternoon, Rebecca sat down in a kitchen chair and said I can't, I quit. That was the beginning of her perverted sabbath. And as for most things, she just quit - bathing, dressing, working, sleeping, cooking, laughing, crying. In all the quitting there was one thing she started, smoking - Natural American Spirits, the blue pack. Rebecca would always smoke outside though, on the back deck, never around Karen. Initially Lange believed that behavior to be a singular ember of care, something that might be stoked, fanned. But as days passed he stopped believing.
What's a man to do in a situation like that, when he finds himself between a young, unwed mother-to-be and an older, wedded woman-that-was? The chorus in his head sang endure. And so Lange did. He became, as they say, tough as nails. The only problem is he also became a nail.