The keyboard gleams as she poises herself on the edge of the seat, hands hovering, ready to transcribe the key paragraph she knows must come soon. Sucking in her breath, she leans back on her chair, pressing damp palms against tired eyes. She wills the words to come.
Late summer nights are the hardest to bear with the heat of day settled in the dimly-lit room with its cane sofas, brightly patterned cushions, and the woman in the corner at the desk. Windows and doors are open to the still, heavy night that lies wearily over the hot haze of day. A ceiling fan turns listlessly, cutting the fragrant air heavy with blossoms and earthy dampness, but no breeze comes. The humidity of day seems to rest here in this room; a thick blanket of darkness and insect sounds.
11:59 p.m.: The computer screen’s bright glare announces one last precious minute of the day to make a difference, to do one last thing that might somehow make her more. She jerks from her thoughtful repose, fingers on the keyboard in one fluid movement. She taps urgently, as if slowing down may let whatever thought has arrived slip away again. The tap-tap sounds a beat with the chorus of tree frogs and the drone of mosquitoes, and there is life here in the little room in the heat and darkness.
12:12 a.m.: Another noise joins the chorus, jostling for its place in line, but its entry to the symphony signifies an end, and she instinctively jumps in her seat. A wearied look of frustration superseded by concern passes over her face. Removing her glasses, she flicks off the desk light and pads across the bare wooden floor to the urgent cry of a baby awake.