I look quick in every room to see that nobody is missing and nobody is. That is good because if someone is missing I have to leave to go find them and then who would get the eggs? Because they have never known a girl who was as gentle with the eggs.
I go down the stairs quiet like I am something without any weight. I open the door in the dark and the cold sucks my skin towards it. It is the morning but there is no sun yet, just white light around the edges.
It is the time to get the eggs. Time for my best thing.
The foxes I can hear them still digging. They come in the chicken house at night. We try to keep them out with wire. Sometimes they dig under the wire. If you think a fox is a smart animal then you are right. What do the foxes do after they dig under the wire? Well, they eat the chickens and break the eggs is one thing.
But they are scared of the day and of me, so they are gone.
The eggs they shine with their white and I do not need the light to find them. The foxes need no light either. I am a little like the fox, he is a little like me.
I get the eggs for our breakfast. They are alive. When you eat something that is alive you take the life for yourself. You can’t think of it as taking life from another thing, you think of it as giving life to yourself. That is what Samantha told me when I asked about eggs for breakfast.
Samantha knows. There is something growing inside of her too.
Every person gets three eggs but Samantha, she gets four eggs. I count the eggs, one two three, for me, one two three for you, one two three four for her. Missus makes her have extra so the baby will be big enough when it comes out, but Samantha, she saves the extra for me. I say, what about the baby and she says, the baby’s fine, you take it.
Mister thought I would not be as gentle with the eggs but I am as gentle with the eggs. My favorite is to put them in my apron pockets because then I feel them against my body underneath. Then I know something but I can’t say it. It’s not a secret but I don’t have the words yet. I am still looking for them. But even without the words, I know how to be so gentle.
My pockets they are heavy but they rub against my legs and it feels nice like someone who would hug your legs. It isn’t really a place to hug but that is why you would want it. Because you thought nobody would remember that place.
I touch one of the eggs with my cheek. The egg, I feel him trying to kiss me through the shell. He is trying so hard for the kiss. I know about trying so hard. It is when there isn’t even one piece of you that isn’t trying so hard. I kiss him back, and it is probably his last kiss because what happens next is that he is opened up and put on the skillet. That is part of what breakfast is.
I tell the egg to find the baby in Samantha’s stomach and give all his life to her. Then he is not scared about being opened up. He knows it is time for him to give his life to the baby and knowing that makes him brave, which is doing something even if you think you are too scared.
JULIE SARKISSIAN’S debut novel, Dear Lucy, was recently published by Simon and Schuster. She is a graduate of Princeton University and has an MFA from The New School. Other writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Observer and Huffington Post. She teaches at The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop and lives with her fiancé in Brooklyn Heights, New York.
Adapted from Dear Lucy, by Julie Sarkissian, Copyright © 2013 by Julie Sarkissian. With the permission of the publisher, Simon & Schuster.