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It is 7:30 PM. I hear whining from the sofa. Another two hours before I can curl up and be lost in blissful sleep I think. My feet hurt from being up all evening. I load the dishes. Time slows to a crawl. Another half hour later, the twins hug good night and head upstairs. I clear up the counters and stow away leftovers in the fridge when my phone dings.

I wipe my hands on the kitchen towel and slide open the phone. “Your county library system item is now available” reads the subject. My interest perks. It is a book I have had on hold for a while now. I hurry up and give the kitchen the once over. I turn the lights off and power on my laptop. The silence in the house is reassuring. I turn to check the baby monitor is on. I lean back and start reading.

I am not aware of how long I have been reading when the garage door opens. 9:58 PM reads the clock. Another half hour I tell myself and I will go to bed. The next time I look at the time it is 11:00. Reluctantly I close the laptop and head to bed. Sleep eludes me. I turn and see Saathi’s form move with gentle breathing. Laddu is fast asleep. I turn to my phone. Under the covers of the comforter, I ease myself into a sitting position and open the Kindle app. Another chapter, I tell myself.

Midnight. I groan inwardly as I realize I have to be up at 5:00 AM. I check the numbers at the bottom. 67% complete it reads. I can’t stop midway through a chapter can I?

2:19 AM. I read the epilogue and stretch my arms. I put the phone away and slip into a dark, dreamless sleep.

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