Hair Side, Flesh Side
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same time, and she dumped the sugar in. “Sorry,” she said, “no spoons on me.” He took the coffee. The elevator door opened, and they both stepped inside. “You’re Becca, aren’t you?” he asked. “Beth’s new intern.” Becca nodded. He sipped the coffee, smiled again, sipped again. Silence. It was the sugar, Becca thought, a good thing I brought the sugar. He wouldn’t like it black, and then we wouldn’tbe talking now. And she smiled back, and she surreptitiously patted the pocket of her jacket,
anyway—her parents couldn’t afford a whole new saint, not for their third kid. But Chloe could tell just by looking that this was the real Lucia, that this little girl, a little girl her own age, had been good and kind and best beloved of all. And then, there, it happened. Chloe felt a warm rush of heat and all the hairs on her arm stood up. This was it, this was the moment! Out of the crate stepped a little girl the same age as Chloe, with long dark hair and olive skin and a beatific smile.
Beautiful, long-lashed Gabriel. “Ah, here you are,” he said. His voice too loud in the small space. “The sisters, they worry. Americans are their favourites. They are happy when the tourists come. The tourists buy many things. Americans, they like Brazil, do they not?” He took position at the urinal and unzipped, comfortable, unabashed. Simon turned away. Cupped more water in hands. “But it is not the sisters, is it, my American friend? No. You would not like the sisters.” A creeping heat
meanderings of her brain, than the one who stood before her. And she might have nodded, just a little, but at this point I will have noticed that the wonderment she felt, the jarring to her soul had jarred her hand as well, and a thin pool of ink might have been gathering on the pages before her. Gallantly, I might have said something to draw attention to this, “Madam, the ink is running.” And she will have said, “Why should ink matter when an Angel of the Lord stands before me?” and I will have
Hanna lean back further into the pillows. She made a small noise. “So the wife then,” she said after a moment. He looked up from what he was doing, and Hanna ran a finger along his fashionably stubbled chin. “Or the editor if you’d like.” “That was very nice.” “My professional evaluation?” He asked playfully, kissing her finger. “The punctuation was very good.” “I think I read that review once. ‘The punctuation was very good.’” “Reviewers are terrible people. They don’t hold a