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The morning’s warm and flat as summer soda, and Whit’s pants are stiff. He should have realized the black slacks were the only pair left last night, should have done some laundry. Now his legs are hot. He looks like he forgot his jacket at a funeral.

The phone jerks his pocket and he pulls it out, thumbing the voicemail button, expecting a dentist’s reminder. Instead, Lottie sings to him.

Her voice is sleepy, untrained, quiet and perfect. Whit’s hand drops away from the car door; he’s suddenly happy, then giddy, then smiling helplessly, so hard his face hurts. Smiling aloud.