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A woman looks out the open window of her office and pauses. The sounds of her co-workers’ voices recede. The click of keyboards almost disappears. The telephone dulls to a purr.
She listens for the sound that made her stop working, but there is nothing out of the ordinary. A quiet wind stirs the leaves outside her window. Rain soaks into the grass and punctuates the road and sidewalks. The drain gurgles like a baby blowing bubbles.
She listens harder. A small animal, perhaps a vole, skitters across the open space to shelter. A snake parts the blades of grass. A cat pads under a parked car.
The world is soft in this instant, as if it would never grow cold or hard, as if the concrete would be made of sponge when she walked on it, as if the pace of life would always match this pause, this moment, this comma in the sentence.