pads. A few glass vials of medication. Gonal-F. Menopur. A prescriptionfor Zoloft.
Suddenly exhausted, I sat on the bed and lay down across the faintimpression her body had left on the duvet. I pressed my cheek againsther pillow and counted to ten. Then I took three deep breaths, inhaling all that one leaves behind on a pillow—strands of hair, tears, saliva.Sloughed skin cells.
I felt him enter before I opened my eyes. He stood watching me fromthe doorway.
“I’m just really tired,” I said.
The tears didn’t come until I saw his. I couldn’t say why they werethere, for either of us. He sniffed and pinched the space between hisbrows to feign a headache, but I knew from the long pause that he wasonly trying to hide his face.
“We have a guest bedroom,” he said. “You can lie down there if you’d
“No.” I sat up. “I should just go.”
I hadn’t remembered to shut the drawer. My wrist banged against it
as I got up. It continued to throb as I ran down the stairs and out the
Rosalind asked if she could bring over some homemade muffins. Blueberry. It was Tuesday. I was sending out job applications and sortingthrough paperwork. The patient educator had recommended two binders, one for medical records, the other for bills. My mother was watchingWheel of Fortune and going through Cal’s collection of old coins. Shethought some of them might be valuable. I had skipped two meetingswith the Sisters.
“Of course,” I told Rosalind. “That’s so nice of you.”
When she arrived, she brought a loaf of bread and a chicken hotdish
as well. Also Pete. My mother requested that they stay for dinner. She
wanted to discuss the church’s Thanksgiving meal with Rosalind, so it
was Pete and I who stood in the kitchen, unsure what to do while Rosa-
lind assembled a salad and my mother set the table.
“Peter.” My mother turned to us. “I have a job for you. I’ve been
meaning to call you.”
She sent the two of us to the basement, to the cobwebbed corner past
the washer and dryer. Pete switched off a breaker, and I shined a flash