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29 Mar 2016
Aibileen is still smiling, completely undeterred by anything I’ve said. And honestly, I’m grateful for this. I knew she’d be excited, but I was afraid she’d be a little disappointed, too. Seeing her makes me realize, I’m not disappointed at all. I’m just happy.

We sit and talk another few minutes, drinking coffee and tea, until I look at my watch. “I told Daddy I’d be home in an hour.” Daddy is at home with Mother. I took a risk and left him Aibileen’s number just in case, telling him I was going to visit a friend named Sarah.

They both walk me to the door, which is new for Minny. I tell Aibileen I’ll call her as soon as I get Missus Stein’s notes in the mail.

“So six months from now, we’ll finally know what’s gone happen,” Minny says, “good, bad, or nothing.”

“It might be nothing,” I say, wondering if anyone will even buy the book.

Minny crosses her arms over her chest. “I better count on bad then. Somebody got to.”

Minny doesn’t look worried about book sales. She looks worried about what will happen when the women of Jackson read what we’ve written about them.

THE HEAT done seeped into everything. For a week now it’s been a hundred degrees and ninety-nine percent humidity. Get any wetter, we be swimming. Can’t get my sheets to dry on the line, my front door won’t close it done swell up so much. Sho nuff couldn’t get a meringue to whip. Even my church wig starting to frizz.

This morning, I can’t even get my hose on. My legs is too swollen. I figure I just do it when I get to Miss Leefolt’s, in the air-condition. It must be record heat, cause I been tending to white folks for forty-one years and this the first time in history I ever went to work without no hose on.

But Miss Leefolt’s house be hotter than my own. “Aibileen, go on and get the tea brewed and... salad plates . . . wipe them down now . . .” She ain’t even come in the kitchen today. She in the living room and she done pull a chair next to the wall vent, so what’s left a the air-condition blowing up her slip. That’s all she got on, her full slip and her earrings. I wait on white ladies who walk right out the bedroom wearing nothing but they personality, but Miss Leefolt don’t do like that.

Ever once in a while, that air-condition motor go phheeewww. Like it just giving up. Miss Leefolt call the repairman twice now and he say he coming, but I bet he ain’t. Too hot.


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