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AUGUST 8 (SATURDAY), 37 WEEKS + 5 DAYS


So we've reached the month for her delivery, and she could go into labor any day now. Her belly is about as large as it can get, and I find myself worrying whether her organs can function properly when they're so compressed.

The three of us wait quietly, though the house is terribly hot and humid. We say nothing about it, but we're all thinking of the approaching delivery. My sister's shoulders heave as she tries to catch her breath. My brother-in-law waters the yard with the hose. The only sound is the humming of the fan as it turns on its stand.

I'm usually anxious when I'm waiting for something-even when it's someone else's labor pains. It scares me to think how nervous my sister must be. I'd like this hot, uneventful afternoon to go on forever.

But even in this heat, she is still lapping up my grapefruit jam as soon as it's done. She swallows it so quickly I'm afraid she'll burn her mouth, and I don't see how she can taste it at all. Her face looks sad, almost as if she were weeping, as I see it in profile, bent over the pot. The spoon flits back and forth from the pot to her mouth, and she seems to be trying to hold back the tears welling up in her eyes. This afternoon, the yard beyond her was glowing brilliant green in the sunlight. The cries of the cicadas were deafening.

"I can't wait to see the baby," I murmured. The spoon stopped for a moment and she blinked at me. But then she went back to the jam, and my thoughts returned to the shape of the damaged chromosomes.



JULY 22 (WEDNESDAY), 35 WEEKS + 2 DAYS | The Diving Pool | AUGUST 11 (TUESDAY), 38 WEEKS + 1 DAY







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