The Sunday Sisters smiled at me less the next prayer meeting. I was nolonger new, and this week was not about sinners; it was about saints. Rosalind’s college girlfriend, Amalie, was visiting. She had an exotic nameand had traveled to exotic places. She had been raised in South Africa bymissionary parents, and now she and her husband were back from theirown post in Kenya to see to the birth of their third child. The pregnancywas high risk. Gestational diabetes. For this, as for all their missions,they needed prayer and the grace of the Lord.
That was Amalie’s refrain. By the grace of the Lord, they had gottenpregnant. By the grace of the Lord, they had gotten to the train stationin time. By the grace of the Lord, the plane landed as it was scheduledto land.
As the other women clamored around her, Amalie rubbed her bellywith self-satisfied sanctimony, discussing servant hearts and gluten-freediets and the beatific smiles of Kenyan women that had so warmed hersoul.
During the break, when the bathroom was occupied, Rosalind gave
me permission to wander their house. “Go upstairs. Second door on the
right. Amalie loves hogging the bathroom, even when she’s not preg-
The upstairs bathroom had a Jacuzzi and two sinks. Around one of
them, an assortment of lotions and face creams in small glass cylinders.
Next to the other, Pete’s Philips razor and Old Spice deodorant. Match-
ing electric toothbrushes stood next to their respective sinks. I wanted
to turn one of them around, make it face the other way, but they would
have noticed, almost certainly.
A second door opened into their bedroom, which was messy, finally.Pete’s clothes were draped over an armchair in the corner. I picked up anavy sweater and folded it, in the neat way that department stores did itand, I was sure, the way Rosalind did it. On top of the dresser were pearlearrings Rosalind had recently worn and removed, a crumpled receipt,a watch with a thick leather strap—Pete’s. The closet smelled like Rosalind, a light lavender scent. Inside was all cashmere and silk, so soft andclean, the perfect place to hide.
I found her side of the bed with the help of the leather-bound Bible onthe nightstand and waited until I could no longer resist before I pulledopen the drawer. I wanted to know the shape and size of her vibrator,the brand of lube they used. Instead, I found syringes. A whole case,each individually wrapped. Next to it, stacks of alcohol wipes and gauze