wall. Rebuffed by her inscrutability, I followed her gaze across the street,toward that kilometer-tall phallus of glass and steel that had grown toblock out our sun, and I began to wonder.
A few weeks later, we returned to the Brighter Future Fertility Clinicfor our first ultrasound. Eunji had told me not to come, but I’d insisted,even though it had been difficult to wrangle the afternoon off from work.This was our child, and I wanted to show—not so much to her but to myself—that I had a stake in the matter. I was also curious. I wondered if,upon seeing the child, I would experience that magical rush of love youalways hear new parents talking about.
When our time came, a technician led us into a windowless roommostly occupied by a bed and asked Eunji to lie down. I took a seat ona stool beside the bed and held Eunji’s hand, which was surprisinglywarm. We watched in anticipation as the technician slid a sensor overEunji’s belly, probing for the life within.
“There,” the technician announced suddenly, pointing to a monitor.
“Do you see it?”
I strained my eyes, but all I could see were shades of gray.
“Our Angel,” marveled Eunji in a hushed, excited tone. I leaned incloser to the screen and noticed something in the midst of all that gray,a tiny white speck inside a larger, darker blob.
“Is that it?”
“Look at him,” whispered Eunji, her grip tightening. “Isn’t he mar-
“He’s perfect,” I replied, though it was hard to feel much of anything
about a tiny white speck inside a larger, darker blob.
The technician asked if we wanted to hear the heartbeat. We told herwe did. She pressed a button on the machine, and the room was floodedwith noise, the dull hum of static.
“Let me find it,” said the technician. As she slid the sensor over Eunji’sskin, the static rippled and cracked. It was difficult to make out anythingresembling a heartbeat over all the noise, but for a moment I caught asnippet of something cutting through.
“Did you hear that?” the technician asked.
“Our little Angel!” Eunji exclaimed. Her eyes were glazed over, andthat strange smile had overtaken her face again.
“There it is,” said the technician. “Listen.”
And there it was, more hummingbird than human, but unmistak-
able, a pulse. For a moment, I was stunned—it seemed remarkable that