The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo


The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

Author:Jill Santopolo
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Published: 2017-04-18T13:55:58+00:00


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A few weekends after we got home, Darren left to go to Montreal for his friend Arjit’s bachelor party and I got a call from Jay that Friday night.

“Lu?” he said, when I picked up. “Any chance you’re free on Sunday?”

I’d taken Darren’s absence as a chance to plan a Saturday morning boozy brunch with Alexis, a Saturday afternoon trip to the Met with Kate, and a Saturday night dinner in Koreatown with Julia, where we planned to cook meat on sticks while she told me about her string of less-than-stellar OkCupid dates. I’d made not one plan on Sunday. I wanted to spend it at home, cuddled on the couch with just Annie for company. I wanted to eat Cheerios out of the box, which Darren thought was uncouth, and watch reruns of 90210, and stay in my pajamas until at least two p.m.

I sighed. “I am, what’s up?” I asked.

I could imagine Jay scratching his scruff of a beard on the other side of the phone. “So . . . would you be able to do me a huge favor?”

Jay wasn’t the kind of person who called in favors. Hardly ever. The fact he was asking actually made me a bit nervous.

“For you, Jay?” I said. “Of course. What do you need?”

“Would you come to my lab for family day? Vanessa’s coming, of course, but . . . there are going to be lots of kids there and you and I haven’t really talked about this, but we’ve been trying, Vanessa and I, to have kids. And it’s been over a year. And I just think it’ll be easier for her if you’re there too. So, would you?”

Here’s what I love about my brother: When he finally asked me for a favor, he didn’t ask for himself. He asked for Vanessa.

“Of course,” I said.

And so I went out to New Jersey and spent Sunday afternoon touring Jay’s lab and watching him and the other researchers perform experiments for the kids. It was clear that family day was really “kids day,” perhaps conceived as a way to get children interested in science or give them a chance to visit their parents’ workplace, which was usually off-limits. I’m actually not sure why this was a thing, but once I got there I completely understood why it might be hard for someone who had been trying to get pregnant to go alone.

I wasn’t sure quite how much I was supposed to know, so I didn’t say anything to Vanessa about kids at all. But when we were both standing in the back of a group, watching Jay wow elementary schoolers with a clock reaction—his favorite, the one that went from clear to orange to black—Vanessa said to me, “I’ve stopped taking walks in the park.”

I turned. “You have?” I asked.

She nodded. “It’s just so hard to see the strollers and the playgrounds.”

“I can imagine,” I told her, as the group in front of us ooohed when the mixture turned orange. “Have



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