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The Sun Magazine

Family and Relationships

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Shadow Of The Whale

It is 2 A.M. on a Sunday when my husband, Brian, and I arrive at the emergency room. The waiting area is strangely quiet, almost peaceful. The TV overhead drones, and a Latina mother and her young daughter sit in adjoining chairs, looking calm and wide awake. I take a deep breath and step up to the admitting window in my slower-than-usual, wide-legged fashion. The man behind the glass looks down at my belly and asks, “How far along?”

Fiction

Especially Roosevelt

Haiden’s morning sickness was bad, and she told me to get the boy out of the house, take him anywhere. She stood in the doorway of our downstairs bathroom, just off the kitchen, her frizzy black hair bound into a ponytail that pointed toward the ceiling like a squat exclamation point. “Please,” she said.

Fiction

The Empathic

I no longer felt I had to “let go” of my first family, as some had counseled. I had two daughters, one I held in my arms and one I held in my memory, but both were equally real. In this new present I could remember and cherish Doria without pain. Feeding Laura in her highchair, I told her that Doria had opened her mouth the same way, like a baby bird.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The First Cut

I was raised in a family of four girls. When my sisters and I are together, we speak a private language composed largely of different pitches of laughter that causes our exasperated father to demand to know what’s so funny. I am most at home when I am sharing clothes, secrets, and a bathroom with other women.

Fiction

In The Near Dark

At first there’s darkness, and then darkness becoming less dark, then vaguely dark, then just shadows and the glow of sunlight pushing on closed blinds. There’s Melanie’s tangled black hair falling on the pillow inches from my face, a sniffle and the ruffle of sheets as her leg moves. There’s a siren howling closer and closer and then fading. The phone rings, then rings again.