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“One more push,” says the doctor encouragingly, and Everett leans on Miriam’s back as she scrunches and grunts. And then! He’s out at last; a wail, a dunk, a snip and he’s swaddled in her arms. Miriam smiles, exhausted, and her sweat magically turns to glow.

“Your third this month,” says the doctor. “You’re very prolific.”

“Oh, not compared to the real pros,” she says, modest. “You want to hold him, Daddy?”

“For a minute,” smiles Everett. “Hey, little guy!”

“We should get him sent out this week,” says Miriam, turning serious. “Harlan seemed interested…”

“Yeah.” Everett sighs. “Bills to pay.”