100-word story: Welcome

The front door opened as I stepped out of the lift. Plumes of warmth mushroomed out into the icy landing.

Before I set my suitcases down, my wife slipped out, trailing her puffer coat like a comfort blanket. She smelled of coffee and unwashed armpits. The bags under her eyes were big enough to hold the laptop cradled in her arms. I aimed a kiss at her cheek, missed, grazed my lips on an earring.

“Will you be back tonight?” I asked. The lift pinged, swallowing my question.

Somewhere in the dark of the flat, the baby began to cry.

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