Late this night, with no sign of him, I finally fall into a miserable half-sleep. Just after one, Karen wakes me. She hears him sneaking in. A garden light, equipped with a motion detector, flashes on, casting its bright beam across the backyard. Clad in my pajamas, I slip on a pair of shoes and go out the back door to catch him.
The night air is chilly. I hear crunching brush.
I turn the corner and come head-to-head with an enormous startled buck, who quickly lopes away up into the garden, effortlessly leaping over the deer fence.
Back in bed, Karen and I are wide awake.
It's one-thirty. Now two. I double check his room.
It is two-thirty.
Finally, the sound of the car.
I confront Nic in the kitchen and he mumbles an excuse. I tell him that he can no longer use the car.
"Are you high? Tell me."
"Nic, we had an agreement. Where were you?"
"What the f***?" He looks down. "A bunch of people at the meeting went back to a girl's house to talk and then we watched a video."
"There was no phone?"
"I know," he says, his anger flaring. "I said I'm sorry."
I snap back, "We'll talk about this in the morning," as he escapes into his room, shutting his door and locking it.