M. Lynx Qualey The 2River View, 9.3 (Spring 2005)
The Odds

She was fine. Really. She'd known the odds; known that things hadn’t been right from the start. When friends called to say, God, I am so sorry, she’d switch the phone to the other ear and say, Hey or Yeah. Then she’d ask about their kids, their spouses. She’d focus on the blurry wallpaper, her eyes so wide-open they hurt.

In the grocery line, women brightened with smiles. They’d glance at her still-swollen belly and say, Aw. How many months?

She never found an answer. She’d just shrug, open-mouthed, and air would rush in over her tongue, almost choking her. It would crash in, holding her mouth open, pushing down to her distended belly. She’d struggle against it, the women’s eyes blinking and blinking, before she closed her eyes and swallowed.

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