Lena floats down the sterile hall into the waiting room. She sits, stands, paces, sits again. There’s a magazine on the side table and she rifles through it without picking it up. Celebrity gossip, low-fat recipes, perfume ads. How to Get Back Your Pre-Baby Body. Lena stops on this page and studies the photo of a smiling woman in a red sports bra and matching bike shorts, her hands on her hips, her well-defined abs radiating vitality. She pushes the magazine to the floor and another woman looks up and then returns to her book.
Back up the hall Lena’s husband cries silently as he cradles their newborn son, and considers which features are his and which are Lena’s. The eyes are Lena’s and he will forever see his dead wife when he looks into them.
Rachel Hock lives in Cambridge, MA with her spouse and her cat. Her fiction has previously appeared in Wigleaf. You can find her on twitter at @RachelCraves Photo by sami salim (Unsplash).