The double-helix structure of DNA allows for replication, but yours has unwound, a single spiral staircase tapering off into a singular void. Rick refuses to uncouple, says having a genetic double is half as important as having you. You double your resolve: you’ll try and try.
She abandoned the tests on the marble vanity and the jar of night-cream under the toilet. In her slippers, no bra, hair amiss, she walked out of the house.
The child cries out, and Janet, half-asleep, dashes down the hall to the nursery before the next cry. The second round will be louder, escalating to deafening, the same pattern for three months now, night after night, like a protracted hurricane. The night terrors, they are called, and they are, for mother and child.
I look in the mirror at my unbrushed gray hair. The deep wrinkles that sank in overnight, tunneling.
As a girl, I gorged on mulberries that grew in our yard, ruining so many dresses that my mother beat me. Every year she threatened to chop those bushes down, but once I woke in the night and spied her outside, plucking berry after berry, dripping juice on her nightdress that glowed white in the moonlight.
Before I wake up, I’m in the middle of telling you something. I want you to fix the toilet, rake the yard, paint the shed. In my dream, I’m running around after you because we’re putting the house on the market. Today. Or, so I think. And the new family will want everything to be perfect. In my dream, Leo, we’re almost out of time.
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