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9:08 AM

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The day grew longer from there. “Paul?” “I’m in here.” Night. Living room. Utter upheaval. “Look at this.” Her voice sounded like it was coming from the kitchen. I called back, “Tell me if it’s good or bad.” “Jodi left us something.” A stack of business cards? The head of a competing realtor? I worked my way toward the kitchen, navigating the crooked city of unpacked boxes the movers had settled none too gently in the middle of the floor. Sara stood at the refrigerator, holding the door open against one slim hip. Had to be a head. On the otherwise bare top shelf stood a bottle of champagne, a red ribbon tied around the neck in a bow. “Huh,” I said. She handed me a card, which read, Welcome Home, Callaways! Call me if you need anything. Jodi, Heartland Realty.L Sara nudged me. “And you didn’t like her.” “I never said I didn’t like her.” “You said she sucked all the oxygen out of the room.” Had I said that? “Okay. Only most of the oxygen.” “Well, I think we can agree that this is a very thoughtful gesture.” “One of us could be alcoholic,” I pointed out. “Or Mormon.” “Or knocked up.” She gave me such an odd look that we both cracked grins. It seemed as though only days had elapsed since her doctor back east had confirmed this unexpected bit of parting news, and though it had actually been closer to three weeks by then, I don’t think either of us had fully absorbed it yet. I still wasn’t sure which had come as the bigger surprise: the little blue line in the little white window of the home pregnancy kit, or our mutual embrace of the result. Anyone who knows


Safer, Chapters 1-5