Night Shift


When I answer the phone, the early sun is pushing at the cracks in the curtain and a drowsy glance tells me it’s two hours past the time he usually falls asleep. My voice is groggy. “Love, what are you still doing up?”

Night shift is unkind to him. His voice is tired; I can hear him settling into the pillows on the other end of the line, and for a minute, I picture it strung in swoops across the thousands of miles separating us, small birds crouched together in confidences upon it. He says softly, “I’ve been looking at rings.”

I can feel a twinge at the edges of my cheeks. “Is this because I was teasing you about it this past week?”

“No, honey,” he tells me, and his voice is very clear for a moment, like light on glass. “It’s because I want to marry you.”


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