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Because when I was in the first trimester and we were still renting, we attended a lecture by a historical house detective who said attic stairways sometimes held hidden compartments. Because we bought the 1888 fixer-upper, a five-bedroom Queen Anne with gingerbread trimming the wraparound porch, before we learned the foundation was rotting. Because you took on a second job as a security guard downtown to stockpile cash for our money pit. Because the baby was colicky and I was haunted by insomnia. Because, once I got the baby down, shaky hands that I no longer recognized as my own needed to be kept busy. Because it felt good to taptaptap each rise to the old servant quarters, listening to the big house swallow the sound—until it didn’t. Because the baby startled awake. Because the baby’s shrieks reverberated through the plaster hallway laced with cracks and sent a jolt straight through my spine. Because I soothed the baby back to sleep for God only knew how long. Because I slunk to the basement and waved my hand in the darkness searching for the light’s ripcord. Because the bare bulb swung like an executive pacifier as I rummaged for a hammer and pry bar. Because the long shadows peeled away from the crumbling limestone and held me in a tight embrace. Because I jimmied loose the staircase panel to disinter two ancient bottles of Kentucky Type Greenbrier Whiskey, bottled in bond by St. Hyacinthe Distillery, shrouded in cobwebs, paper seal intact. Because I wouldn’t be able to sleep until you were home in bed next to me. Because I wondered if a baby would fit in the stairway compartment. Because I knew you’d never forgive me.