Winter 1997 • Vol. XIX No. 1 FictionJanuary 1, 1997 |

“The Same Song”: Excerpts from a Novel

I. TAKING A WALK No, there were six, not five. Two for every place they lived. That last time—remember?—she almost bled to death. Victor was at her bedside every minute, when he didn't have class. He told her afterwards her last words were, "Take care of the girls." Well, would have been her last words. If she hadn't pulled through. She never had problems before that. Three perfect babies. Neighbors would stop her on the street: three such attractive little girls. Dressed like stairsteps. Those were the evenings she used to take them for their walk, up to Oak Street Park and Playground and back. You remember. He sent her out after supper, he thought it would help clear her head. That must have been when the medication was just starting to kick in—she realizes it now, looking back. It was the feeling of things moving in on her. She was afraid she was going to die. It was so sad, really—Emily lagging behind, wobbling on those spindly legs of hers; Clare, a

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