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First Person

We’re on vacation somewhere in the country, by a lake. The light is hazy, green, as if I were looking at the sky from underwater; the lake, too, is green, surrounded by dense weeds and brambles. My husband and son are playing nearby, shouting to each other. Suddenly I realize – what have I been doing all this time? Why wasn’t I watching? – that I can’t see my little girl. And I know, with the certainty one has in dreams, that she has fallen in the lake. Shock has rooted me, but I scream for my husband. I know he will be able to do what I can’t, to jump in and save her, if only he gets there in time.

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