[wpaudio url=”/audio/june12/Standford.mp3″ text=”listen to this story” dl=”0″]
Neither of them particularly wanted to go to the luau, but that was what you did when you were on vacation in Hawaii, you went to a luau, and so here they were, heading to a luau in their rented Jeep, the top rolled down. They had rented a Jeep – ten dollars more per day than a standard four-door – because that was also what you did when you were on vacation in Hawaii, you rented a Jeep. And Katherine wore a bright, floral-patterned dress and Matthew wore his shirt buttoned up only halfway, because when you were on vacation in Hawaii, driving to a luau in your rented Jeep, that was what you wore. Everything was just as the postcards and the travel brochures say it should be, except that Katherine was pregnant – not hugely pregnant, but enough, five months pregnant – and you weren’t really supposed to be pregnant when you were on vacation in Hawaii.

“If anyone there asks us why we came to Hawaii,” Matthew warned her on the way, “I am going to say, ‘Actually, we’re getting a divorce. We had just already booked this vacation, and we couldn’t get a refund.’”

“Why would you do that?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Because it would be funny.”

It was hard to hear each other on the freeway, between the noise of the other cars and the music and the wind. Most of the vacation, they had sat quietly, Katherine fiddling with the music until Matthew blurted the name of the band he’d wanted all along. He thought that Katherine should have a natural birth and said he would make her a soundtrack to keep her mind off the pain. “Radiohead will be the first band my baby ever hears,” he had explained. “Won’t that be cool?” She had told him that it was a nice idea, knowing all along that when the time came, it would be her decision, and she would take the drugs. In the meantime, though, it made him happy to work on his soundtrack – on her soundtrack, on the baby’s soundtrack – and so she let him.

The highway didn’t look different than any other highway, Katherine had noticed when they got to Maui. She didn’t know what she had expected, exactly – ocean views from 65 miles per hour, surfboards on every car, a man with a ukulele hitching a ride, leis being showered down on her from passing helicopters. But soon that absence was a relief. Everywhere else on Maui was so oppressively…Hawaiian, she thought. Everywhere else, with its garish colors and smiling attendants and piles of tropical flowers, shouted out, You’re in Hawaii! You must be madly in love! You must be pawing at your significant other at all times, and not only that, but at the very few moments you are not pawing at each other you must be glowingly, preeningly telling all the other couples around you how the two of you met. Or listening to how they met. And oohing and ahhing and taking photos of each other and celebrating each others’ anniversaries, that were already being celebrated with a special dance and a free drink at every luau on the island.

Being in the car helped, somehow. In the car, there was no one trying to sell them a package day of snorkeling and whale watching. There were no five dollar ice creams or seven dollar tacos or twelve dollar frosty pink tropical drinks that should have tasted of coconut rum, but which Katherine ordered virgin, without any drop in price. Katherine ordered them, and then Matthew took them from her to sip, demanding, “Take a photo of me!” as he made a face, thinking it was a funny joke about his manhood being threatened, or subverted, Katherine wasn’t quite sure. She didn’t get the joke, or at least she didn’t think it was funny, but she handed over her frosty neon drinks anyway, and she took the photos, and she dutifully passed the camera over to Matthew afterward so he could see the result immediately. She never realized he liked having his photo taken so often until this trip.

“I bought some postcards today,” Katherine said, her voice rising above the wind and the car stereo. “I thought we could send them to your mom and my parents.”

“Okay,” Matthew said. “You write them, and I’ll sign.”

“I wish you could just draw a picture on the back of a postcard,” she said, settling back into the seat. “Or write a joke. Like a knock-knock joke. I think I’d rather get a good knock-knock joke in the mail.”

“Well, why don’t you, then?”

“But nobody would know what to do with a postcard if I just sent a knock-knock joke.”

Matthew shrugged, his voice becoming sarcastic. “What are you going to write instead – I miss you? Having a great time?

“I guess so,” she said. “I don’t know. Tell them about the luau.”

“Better not to send anything than to send that.”


They were directed to overflow parking, a dirt lot across the street from the event grounds. Driving in, they passed car after car of families and couples, the men decked out in Hawaiian shirts and fake puka shell necklaces, the women in bright tropical print dresses that clung to their cruise-ship sedentary figures.

“Oh boy,” Matthew said. “This is going to be something.” The lot curved around a grove of palm trees to a second lot, with fewer cars. Matthew pressed on the accelerator and turned suddenly, causing the Jeep to skid out slightly. The nearest carload of people looked over as Katherine, instinctively, grabbed the door handle with one hand and her stomach with the other. Her body expected Matthew’s arm to shoot out across her chest, bracing her in the way her parents always did when she was a little girl, and they came to a sudden stop with her in the passenger seat. She had always teased them then, telling them that the seat belt was enough, didn’t they know that? They knew, they told her, and still, every time there was a sudden stop, there was a protective arm.

Matthew sat with his left arm dangling out the window, his right loosely gripping the steering wheel. “This would be great for doing donuts,” he said, surveying the empty section of the lot. He looked over, a mischievous look on his face like a child that is up to something. “Why don’t you hop out for a second?”

“Matthew,” she said.

“Come on, just a second,” he said, his grin disappearing as he looked at her stone face, her stomach.

“No,” she said. “You come on. Park the car.”

They crossed the dirt parking lot in silence and entered the luau in a stream of couples and families, all tinged slightly red from the sun. Matthew gave his name to the hostess, a young Hawaiian woman wearing a tropical-printed piece of cloth tied around her body and an orchid lei around her head. She checked them off the list and motioned to another girl, with the exact same straightened black hair and same outfit, to give Katherine a lei of purple orchids matching their own. As the girl draped the lei around Katherine’s neck, her fingers grazed the bump on Katherine’s stomach. “Ho’omaika’i,” the girl said, a wide, practiced smile across her face. And then, as if she was explaining to a third grader, “That is Hawaiian for ‘congratulations.’”

“Thank you,” Katherine said. When she looked to her side, Matthew had disappeared. He returned a moment later with two drinks, one a bright pink virgin slushy drink of some sort for her, and the other a gin and tonic for him.

“You might have to drive us home tonight,” Matthew said, raising his glass. “Open bar.”

Katherine took her awful pink drink from his hand, not saying anything. Matthew shrugged.

“Let’s go get this thing over with.”


They had decided that she’d stop taking birth control five months before. Nothing else would change. She’d just stop taking the little pink pills. And then, well, then they’d just see. They booked a Hawaiian vacation, backpacking in Kauai. Then Katherine missed her next period. Yes, they wanted to get pregnant. Yes, they were ready. But that fast? Couldn’t be.

She told Matthew when he got home from work that night.

“Are you sure?” he said.

“Well, that’s great,” he said.

“Let’s go out for dinner to celebrate,” he said.

“Anywhere you want,” he said.

“We’re going to be great parents,” he said.

Matthew had started wearing the eye mask soon after she told him. She hadn’t asked him about it at first. The first time, she had simply woken up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and when she returned to bed, had been startled to see his eyes blacked out, closed off to the sleeping world. She had made a mental note then to remember it, to ask him about it, but when she woke up the next morning, he was already up and out of bed and there was no sign of the mask. She forgot about it completely, as if it were a dream, lost once the dreamer is out of bed and in waking life. That night, she was up late working, and when she came to bed, he was already asleep, mask on again. But she couldn’t say anything, because he was already asleep, and so she got in the bed and let him throw his arm across her stomach in the heavy, laden way that was the best he could do while still being able to sleep on his stomach. Why he needed to wear an eye mask in the first place when he was sleeping on his stomach, head down, didn’t occur to Katherine at the time.

Finally, on the third night, she came in just a few minutes after him, and though the room was dark, his body’s movement in reaction to her lying down was great enough that she imagined he was still somewhat awake.

“Matthew?” she asked. No reaction. “Matthew, are you awake?” Still, he was quiet, on his stomach, but his breath was fast and so she tapped the arm, flung across her midsection. “Matthew?” His head shot up suddenly and flailed around, turning rapidly from side to side. She imagined his eyes bugged out and wide, though she couldn’t know for sure with them underneath the black mask.

“Did you say something?” he asked, a little too loudly for pillow talk, his head tilted not quite at her, as if he was looking at someone over her left shoulder.

“I wanted to ask why you started wearing this eye mask,” she answered, confused by his confusion, feeling a little bit as if she had surprised an animal in the wild – a wildebeest thrashing wildly against its captors – rather than her own husband in their bed.

He turned the left side of his head toward the imaginary person – the other Katherine – who was stationed, in the temporal-spatial area of his mind, over her left shoulder. “I can’t hear you,” he said, at full conversational volume. “I’m wearing ear plugs.” Jerking his right arm up off her stomach he gestured at a small lavender bud growing out of his ear. He pulled it out, leaving the eye mask on. “Is it important?”

“No, it’s okay,” Katherine said after a moment. “It can wait.”

With that he swan dove back down, face-first, into his pillow. The eye mask – and now the ear plugs – didn’t seem important enough to make him take them off just to talk about them. The natural effect of nighttime in the bedroom didn’t seem to be enough for Matthew, and Katherine, in that moment, thought to herself, so what, so he needs a little more help sleeping. What is there really to talk about.

A few nights later, she came in and found him in bed but without the mask over his eyes, and she thought maybe he had decided to stop wearing it, figured out a way to go without. But when she got into bed, his leg brushed against hers, and then his hand was on her stomach, and on her thigh, and then her tank top was coming off, her cotton underwear. But then, almost immediately after the sex was over, before she had even fully caught her breath, there was his eye mask, going back on. There were his earplugs, going back in.

And Katherine lay next to him and realized how important it was that even though it was dark in the room, they be sharing the same darkness. That in her darkness, her eyes would adjust, and she would make out a faint outline of his face, but his darkness was complete and inflexible, and had no room for even the barest outline of her profile or even the faint sound of her breath.


“Hi there,” the middle-aged man across from Katherine said as she sat down. The man’s forehead was very red, and he wore a Hawaiian shirt, unironically, as did one of the other men at the table. The third man didn’t wear a Hawaiian shirt, but rather one of those middle-aged man t-shirt button downs, with the sleeves that come approximately to the elbow.

Katherine smiled at the man. “I’m Bob,” he continued. “And this is Nancy,” gesturing to the beaming woman next to him. “It’s our 25th wedding anniversary.”

“Congratulations,” she said. Matthew raised his glass. Introductions went all around – Bob and Nancy, celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary; Rick and Nikki, on their honeymoon; Lance and Sharon, also celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, and – wasn’t it crazy – they were on the same cruise as Bob and Sharon, but they hadn’t met until tonight, those ships are just so big!

“And what about yourselves?” Bob asked, looking from Katherine to Matthew.

“Oh, we’re just on vacation,” Matthew said.

“And?” Bob said, looking pointedly at Katherine’s stomach.

“We were supposed to hike the Na Pali coast, on Kauai,” Matthew said. “But then we couldn’t. So now I’m just toting her along.” A brief silence settled in over the table, Bob and Nancy still waiting for some further explanation – some further joy, some further exclamation – about Katherine’s state. But none would be coming, Katherine knew. Here, in Hawaii, Matthew had refused to discuss the pregnancy with the many well-wishers they encountered. There were well-wishers everywhere, it seemed. She asked him, after he’d avoided the questions of the woman at the rental car counter, the concierge at the resort, and the waiter the first night out at dinner, if he couldn’t just be a little nicer, humor them just a little. “It’s none of their business,” Matthew had replied vehemently. “Just because we’re in Hawaii doesn’t mean everyone gets free rein to ask whatever they want.”

Matthew seemed perfectly willing, however, to discuss her pregnancy – their pregnancy – with everyone and anyone he even vaguely knew back home. The night before, while Katherine was taking a shower back at the condo, Matthew had called his office to check in. With the hot water streaming onto her head and down her convex stomach, Katherine could barely hear Matthew’s voice. There, in the shower, working the sand out of her ears and scalp, she felt the baby kick for the first time. For a minute or two, she stood still, hand on stomach, feeling the water streaming down and the fluttering inside. And then she got out, to tell Matthew, to put his hand on her stomach, to feel it together. And as she reached for a towel, she heard his voice clearly coming through the bathroom door.

“Oh, she’s fine,” she heard him say. “She’s like a turtle, once she gets on her back she can’t get up.” And then he was laughing.


“Would you mind taking a photo of us?” Bob broke the silence quickly enough, holding out his camera. He put his arm around Nancy and the two of them sat, frozen with smiles made uneven by their emphaticness. Katherine held down the button and the picture appeared for her to see, the subjects’ sunburns practically reflective in the overbearing flash, Bob’s eyes closed, the smiles.

“How’s it look?” Bob asked. Nancy smiled at him.

“Why don’t we do one more?” Katherine said. “Just in case.”

The second photo was better than the first, but still it made Katherine cringe a little, their slightly red faces illuminated by the flash, Bob’s grin never managing to leave its grimacing, fierce enthusiasm for a more natural smile. Katherine handed the camera back to Bob, and he and Nancy hovered over it, nodding approvingly.

“Do you want us to take a photo of you?” Bob asked.

The question was not so much a genuine question as a courtesy. They were at a luau, on vacation in Hawaii, and so they would get their picture taken. Katherine had avoided having her picture taken the whole vacation. She felt fat and bloated and it was humiliating enough to be in a swimsuit in that state. She didn’t need it commemorated. But Matthew loved having his picture taken, as she had learned, and she didn’t want to disappoint Bob and Nancy – because she got the distinct impression that they would be disappointed, more fully and devastatingly, by a denial of the power of photography than even Matthew’s unwillingness to acknowledge or explain the swell of her stomach. She handed the camera over and scooted a little closer to Matthew. Her stomach fluttered again.

“Is everything okay, honey?” Nancy asked. Bob had been trying to get her attention, for her to say “hula” for the camera.

“Oh, fine, I’m sorry,” Katherine said, hand on her stomach. She still hadn’t told Matthew about the baby’s new mobility, whether out of self-protection or some kind of vengeful withholding, she wasn’t sure. “Just a little indigestion, I guess.”

“A lot of rich food,” Nancy said, nodding her head. “But that’s what vacation’s for! Little thing like you, you need a few days when you don’t have to watch your figure. How much weight have you gained – ten pounds? Gotta get some more on that frame.”

“Okay, okay, Nancy,” Bob said. “She knows how to take care of herself. She’s in good hands.” He nodded toward Matthew. “Let’s take the picture. One, two, three,” Bob counted, his eye behind the viewfinder even though it was a digital camera. Nancy sat by his side, watching the photo. Katherine tried to focus on the camera, and not the sudden activity in her stomach. She felt the flash. Nancy started to giggle a little, a vaguely inappropriate middle-aged woman’s giggle. Katherine looked to her side and saw Matthew there, his hands out, almost like jazz hands, as if to shock the camera. His face was just coming back to normal from the look he’d given the camera, eyes bugged out, mouth open in a wide O.

Katherine didn’t know what to say, but Bob was just shaking his head and chuckling.

“We’d better take another photo if you don’t want to be in trouble tonight,” Bob said.


They were, Katherine was realizing, the kind of people who are only meant to be with each other a couple hours a day, with anyone a couple hours a day. She had never known until this vacation that Matthew did the crossword every day on his way to work, sitting on the metro. Earlier that day, on the beach, she had pulled out the Times from the day before, because that’s how it worked in Hawaii – they got the news a day late, and for several dollars more an issue. She had bought the paper specifically for the crossword, thinking it would be a fun thing they could do together. She hadn’t anticipated Matthew being a crossword master; nor had she anticipated how difficult it would be to deal with a newspaper on a windy day on a sandy beach.

“We could use your belly as a table,” Matthew said to her as she struggled in the sand and the wind to arrange everything so it wouldn’t blow away.

“That’s a really helpful thing to say,” she said. The newspaper’s pages were flapping in the wind as she flipped through to the crossword, as she tried to find a pen in her bag.

“What?” He was lying next to her and he propped himself up on his elbow.

“What do you mean ‘what’? Why would you say something like that?” She struggled to control the note of hysteria she heard creeping into her voice. “What do you mean by that?”

“What do you mean?”

“You know I don’t feel good about how my body looks right now, so why would you say something like that?” There was the hysteria creeping in, uncontrollable. “Do I look like a turtle to you? Is that what I look like? A turtle?”

He shrugged and grabbed the newspaper from her. She looked at him for a moment, his head bent over the paper.

“Can I have that pen?” he asked, sticking out his hand, not looking up.

“I’m going for a walk,” she said, throwing the pen at his bare chest. Matthew didn’t say anything.

By the time Katherine thought to look back, Matthew was a speck among the many specks on the beach that day, identifiable only by the red towel from the condo and the empty blue towel next to him. The beach was the same with every step; she could only tell how far she’d gone by looking back at Matthew, seeing him turn into a dot and then disappear entirely. She sat down on a log and looked out at the ocean. She was not so much angry as unexpectedly tired, exhausted even. Tired from the fast walk on the sand with the extra weight, tired of apologetically smiling at everyone in Hawaii when Matthew was curt, tired of sleeping next to a blacked-out, deafened corpse. Tired of not saying anything, but still, not willing to say anything, because that was the difference between being angry and being tired; when you’re tired, it’s easiest to be silent, to give up.

Part of her wished she could stay there all day.

Part of her wished she were better at crossword puzzles.

A lot of her wished that Matthew were not such a dick sometimes.

She had dated other men before him, of course, men who would have given her the crossword puzzle, who would have taken off the eye mask for her, men who would have done almost anything she asked. They were men who said what they meant, they were men who revealed themselves to her, about whom she felt there was nothing more to learn. They were men who bored her. Matthew, on the other hand…Matthew, apparently, was someone who did the crossword every morning on the way to work, who liked having his picture taken, who needed to wear an eye mask and ear plugs to sleep.

Matthew, who pulled her hair back behind her ears when it got in her face.

Matthew, who stuffed Cheetos up his nose when she’d had a bad day.

Matthew, who rubbed her back when she was feeling sick.

She had almost broken up with Matthew once, back when they were dating. Really, she had broken up with him, but it was one of those break-ups that gets fuzzy after a few years of marriage. Yes, she had broken up with him, after agonizing about it for weeks she had broken up with him, agonizing because he was smart and funny and they both really liked guacamole and hiking, but who doesn’t like guacamole and hiking, there would be other people who liked guacamole and hiking, really liked guacamole and hiking, but there might not be other people who were as smart or as funny, or, if there were (there probably were), they probably wouldn’t be as smart or as funny in the same way. But despite all that, he didn’t treat her right, or at least he didn’t treat her the way she saw all her girlfriends’ boyfriends treat them. He didn’t call her back right away, and he didn’t introduce her to his parents, and sometimes he would play poker with his friends instead of watching a movie with her. And these things didn’t matter, really, or at least the poker didn’t matter, but there was more than just that, that’s just what she could remember, and these lapses seemed to indicate a larger idea about how he prioritized her (low), and she knew that she had to break up with him, for her own good.

After the break up, a few of her girlfriends arranged a last-minute weekend trip to Puerto Rico, most of which they spent telling her how she was so much better without him, how he was definitely not that good-looking, he’d put on a little weight since they started dating, and what was with those dumb jokes, anyway? But all the bashing only made her think about him more. And when she got back he was sitting on her stoop – God knows how long he’d been sitting there, in the August D.C. heat, but that was the kind of grand gesture he’d make, the kind that no matter how cliché is still touching – and he was sitting there with a bouquet of flowers, and when she got out of the cab she just stood in front of him, him sitting on the stoop, her standing on the sidewalk with her bag, and he looked at her and he said, “You look radiant.” And she could tell that this wasn’t scripted, wasn’t part of the plan, because his voice sounded almost surprised, not like he was surprised that she was radiant, but he was surprised to see it for himself.


An hour later, their dishes had been collected, and they had eaten macadamia nut pie, and watched women with fake coconut bras and grass skirts hula to drums played by men in sarongs. The whole night had moved like clockwork, and after just the appropriate amount of time – for the dancers to clear off stage, for the crowd to stop talking – the emcee came back to the microphone. A band started up behind him, playing a soft, slow song, the kind of Hawaiian tinged music you hear on a ukulele, but expanded for a five-piece band.

“Now, folks, we’re nearing the end of the night,” the emcee said. His chest was bare also, and he wore a different colored sarong than the other men. “But it’s not a real luau if we don’t have you dancing, too. So for this next song, we’d like anyone who’s celebrating to come on down to the dance floor.” There was a pause as couples whispered, and then one couple sprang up, and then another, and in seconds everyone at their table was up, too. Cries of “anniversary” and “wedding” went through the crowd. “Let’s give all these folks a big round of applause,” the emcee said. “Give yourself a round of applause, folks! And come on down and dance!” With that, the band began playing louder, the tables emptying out, the dance floor filling up. The only people not dancing, it seemed to Katherine, were the staff and the scattered children, who busied themselves with leftover dessert.

“Maybe we should dance,” she said to Matthew.

“I’d rather those women in the coconut bras came back to dance,” he said, busying himself with his drink.

“I’m going to the ladies’ room,” she said, standing up. Her lei swung forward and a flower came loose, falling on the table. Tucking it behind her ear, she walked off. She had meant to go splash some water on her face, but she veered toward the beach instead. She doubted Matthew saw where she went. A stone ledge separated the luau grounds from the sand, about eight feet below, with large rocks leading down to the beach on either side. Away from the lights of the dance floor, everything was black – the ocean, the sand, the stone – all varying shades of black. She sat on the ledge and swung her legs around so they dangled down. A song or two passed; they all sounded vaguely the same, so it was hard to tell. Her eyes adjusted to the dark, and she watched the ocean come in and retreat. She put her hand on her stomach. Nothing.

“Hey,” she heard Matthew’s voice behind her. “This doesn’t look like the ladies’ room.” She didn’t respond, or even turn around. He stood behind her. Matthew, who thought she looked radiant.

“Knock knock,” he said, softer. She could feel him behind her, his hands in his pockets, lightly swaying back and forth on the balls of his feet.

“Who’s there,” she said. Her voice lilted down at the end instead of up, its low tones sounding like a sigh.

“Interrupting jellyfish.” She tried to remember if she’d heard this before; tried to figure it out.

“Interrupting jellyfi-” He sprang forward, launching his hand toward her face, his five fingers and coarse palm attaching themselves to her, firmly but carefully. He stood like that for a moment, and she could feel the two surfaces transmitting warmth; her lips against his palm; her eyelashes batting against his fingers. She sat, unresponsive, and still he pressed his palm against her face. “Do you get it?” he asked, his voice giving away his anxiety. “It’s like a jellyfish – my hand is like a jellyfish. And it interrupted…”

“Yes, Matthew, I get it,” she said, her voice muffled by his hand. And then she felt herself smile involuntarily, the apples of her cheeks lifting and firming against his palm, and he felt it too. Satisfied, he took his hand away. She was still smiling, but looking down, away from him. She took her breath in sharply; there was that fluttering again.

“What is it?” Matthew said, looking over at her.

“Nothing,” she said, automatically. “It’s nothing. Just, you know, takes a little effort for me to shift around.” She gave him a little smile. He seemed satisfied with this. She had to tell him, she would tell him, and he would be happy, he would have to be, would have to get over whatever it was that was making him act this way, would have to realize that this was about the three of them – him, her, and the baby – and not just the one of him, would have to realize that she loved him, she really did, and she knew he took the baby seriously – just like she knew he loved her – but sometimes her almost-endless faith in him reached a limit, that sometimes she needed him to show that this really mattered to him, to say what he was really thinking, not just to make everything into a pithy statement or a joke all the time. She opened her mouth to tell him, ready to reach out for his hand, to put it on her stomach, but she found an entirely different set of words coming out.

“Why do you wear that eye mask?” she asked, her voice quiet.


“Why do you wear that eye mask,” she repeated.

“I don’t know,” Matthew said. “It helps me sleep.” They were both quiet. When she had returned from her walk, earlier in the day, Matthew had been sitting up, watching her walk back, the crossword completed next to him. Where had she gone, he asked. He had been worried about her, he said.

“It doesn’t make me feel great,” she said finally. Matthew was still standing behind her. She stared out at the ocean while she waited for his response.

“I didn’t know that,” he said.

She looked down at her feet, swollen from the heat and the unprecedented weight they were carrying. She turned her head to look at the ocean, leaning forward on the ledge, and felt the orchid she had tucked behind her ear come loose. They both watched it fall, landing lightly on the sand.

Matthew stepped onto the ledge next to her and jumped down to the beach. He bent over and picked up the flower, delicately, by its base. Holding it like that in his right hand and using his left hand to steady himself, he climbed up the rocks that led back up to the luau grounds.

“Careful,” she said, watching him through the darkness. He came back up and sat next to her on the ledge, tucking the flower back behind her ear. For a few minutes, they sat silently. He pulled her hair behind her ear, behind the orchid that he had retrieved.

“Knock knock,” he said.

She looked back across the blackened beach, across the tiki-illuminated dance floor, where the rest of the guests were dancing, red faces illuminated, looking to all the world like they were having the time of their lives, and probably they were, because, after all, they were on vacation in Hawaii. And she felt the baby kicking, and she looked back to Matthew, to the outline of his face in the dark.