Rita's developed a routine. She wakes up every morning. She showers. She fixes breakfast for Cody and Astor. She wakes the kids up. She puts on a brave smile for her children. Then it's off to work and off to school.
She hasn't told them about Dexter. She doesn't know how to put it into words. "Honey, Dexter can't come to the beach with us because he murdered dozens of people." So she keeps saying things like, "Dexter's busy, honey."
Cody's getting crankier every time she gives him that answer. Astor is getting suspicious. Rita fears she'll figure it out. Rita hides the newspaper until she has a chance to comb through it. She's instituted a strict DVD-only policy for the television. But Astor is a smart girl and Rita can't protect her forever.
Tabloids and legitimate journalists call her. They demand interviews, offer her money she couldn't care less about. She always hangs up. "Wrong number," she explains to the kids.
Work is what it's always been. It's a chance to distract herself with customers and their problems. A break from her own. Sometimes, thoughts invade her mind and she pushes them out again.
The morning is hard, but the night is harder. After the kids have been tucked in and read to, all she has to comfort her are her own thoughts and a book she can't seem to concentrate on.
She thinks about all the times he's shared her bed. All the times he made her feel loved. The kindness he showed. The support he offered. The problems she was sure they could work through.
But they can't work through body bags and blood slides and metal bars. They can't work through dismembered bodies and plexiglass barriers.
The more she idealizes their relationship in her head, the larger the gap between the Dexter they talk about on the news and the one she was sure she knew. They must be wrong. Dexter wouldn't. The Dexter she knows couldn't do that. And yet, Dexter confessed. Dexter did.
She's not the woman she once was, the woman that allowed Paul to walk all over her for so many years. She thought she'd never be that woman again. She swore it to herself, to her children.
In the middle of the night, Rita cries. She mourns the passing of what she thought she knew and who she thought she was.