KANSAS CITY, MO—Inhaling deeply while suppressing the horror of what he witnessed earlier that day, exterminator Paul Young took a moment Tuesday to compose himself in the driveway so that his kids would not have to deal with the fact that he witnessed the death of a cricket at work. “This is my burden to bear, not theirs,” said Young, attempting to banish images of the cricket’s twitching body and finals moments on Earth from his mind before sitting down to dinner with the wife and kids who, Young hoped, would not notice their father’s brittle temperament. “I really lost it and yelled at my son for something like 10 minutes straight the other day, but I know I did it from fear of losing little Jalen just like that cricket. Every time I look into his eyes, I can’t help but see it, legs scrabbling in the air, body twitching, fast at first, then more slowly, then…nothing. Just nothing. God, I’ve got to figure out a way to not bring this home with me.” Young’s son was later spotted sneaking halfway down the stairs in the middle of the night and sitting there listening intently as his father sobbed quietly in the living room.
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