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Unformatted text preview: he second snowman to be melting away before her eyes, only this one was different. It was a paradox.
The colder he became, the more he melted. THIRTEEN PRESENTS
It was Max’s arrival, revisited.
Feathers turned to twigs again. Smooth face turned to rough. The proof she needed was there. He was alive.
The first few days, she sat and talked to him. On her birthday, she told him there was an enormous cake waiting
in the kitchen, if only he’d wake up.
There was no waking.
There was no cake.
A LATE-NIGHT EXCERPT
I realized much later that I actually visited
33 Himmel Street in that period of time.
It must have been one of the few moments when the
girl was not there with him, for all I saw was a
man in bed. I knelt. I readied myself to insert
my hands through the blankets. Then there was a
resurgence—an immense struggle against my weight.
I withdrew, and with so much work ahead of me,
it was nice to be fought off in that dark little room.
I even managed a short, closed-eyed pause of
serenity before I made my way out.
On the fifth day, there was much excitement when Max opened his eyes, if only for a few moments. What he
predominantly saw (and what a frightening version it must have been close-up) was Rosa Hubermann,
practically slinging an armful of soup into his mouth. “Swallow,” she advised him. “Don’t think. Just swallow.”
As soon as Mama handed back the bowl, Liesel tried to see his face again, but there was a soup-feeder’s
backside in the way.
“Is he still awake?”
When she turned, Rosa did not have to answer.
After close to a week, Max woke up a second time, on this occasion with Liesel and Papa in the room. They
were both watching the body in the bed when there was a small groan. If it’s possible, Papa fell upward, out of
“Look,” Liesel gasped. “Stay awake, Max, stay awake.”
He looked at her briefly, but there was no recognition. The eyes studied her as if she were a riddle. Then gone
“Papa, what happened?” Hans dropped, back to the chair.
Later, he suggested that perhaps she should read to him. “Come on, Li...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13