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The Shift by Kimberly White

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16   Welcome to the New World

Rachel was the type of elfin old lady whose delicate frame seemed like it might fracture at a touch. Her skin was creased with dry, papery wrinkles—nothing on her had sagged with age, only contracted. She was clear-minded and carefully dressed in crisp slacks and a pristine yellow cardigan, recovering from surgery in the nursing home but due to return to her daughter’s home later that week. The staffer with me asked Rachel if she would mind talking to me about her life, and she replied, “Oh, sure,” in a voice that was steady but very quiet, so quiet that I had to kneel next to her bed and lean close to hear her.

She began talking of her life and her beloved parents and the tragedy it was that she had no pictures ...

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