Since it had always been her ambition to be a wafer-thin fashion model, Azatabeth was surprised when she found herself pregnant. The world, recognizing her lack of innate ability for the task, responded with a wealth of good advice.
"Remember this," said her mother. "If the worst comes to the worst, and your baby just will not stop screaming, and you quite simply cannot handle it, then shut the door and walk away."
"And the baby will be all right?" said Azatabeth.
"Yes," said her mother.
Later, when Laura chanced upon Azatabeth on the beach, twelve months after the baby was born, she was surprised by how luxuriously relaxed her friend looked.
"Where's baby Tim?" said Laura.
"Oh, I closed the door on him and walked away," said Azatabeth.
"Really?" said Laura. "Is that safe?"
"My mother said it would be just fine," said Azatabeth.
And closed her eyes, smiling, and was asleep in moments. Sleep! She had slept wonderfully for the last six months, indulging in eight, nine, ten, twelve, sometimes sixteen hours of sleep a day. Occasionally, her dreams were troubled by the vision of a dehydrated raisin sprawled on a mottled mattress. But there was no reason why they should have been. Her mother had said, after all, that it would be all right.