By an hour later that afternoon, the rain had stopped and the sun was coming out in spots, dappling the windowpane. That was too bad, actually, because I had already created a fantasy of just how I was going to meet Maggie: Two strangers, we’d be separated by splintering sheets of rain and we’d steer through the glistening mists with the wet prows of our baby strollers to join hands over the children’s heads in a rainbow of friendship, I thought. But by the time I dressed Toby up in two sweaters and his nor’easter hat, Debbie was sweating under her raincoat and the rain had stopped, the birds had started squeaking and chirping, and the sun kept flashing out, then disappearing. To make matters worse, the gardening neighbor saw me as I was unfolding Toby’s stroller on the side porch and waved her trowel at me before I could pretend I hadn’t seen her. She had been kneeling at the edge of her garden, digging up potatoes, and if the stroller hadn’t rusted closed in the rain, I might have been able to open it up and get out to the bus stop alone, before she ever saw me. But from my crouching position beside the stroller, I could see her stand up and brush the mud off her knee pads and by the time I broke the hinge off and opened up the stroller, she was already cutting across my side yard, stuffing her gardening gloves into her jacket as she walked.