These days, he’s pissed off at her scent; Men’s deodorant, she said, and she didn’t want to wash her clothes with it. He was offended. He once hugged her to his bare chest. She flicked at his freckles, his chest hair, now elegant as a worm that had been out in the sun too long. They breathed into each other’s mouths. He was curious but silent. That night smelled warm, smelling of run-caught lotion and double-decker hamburgers. With newborn eyes, she is this little girl of ours who has to find her way in the world by smell and touch. He had never held a girl-baby before and was very wary of her screams. If he’s smelling sour these days, I won’t tell him. Her body is producing cells and hormones, which we are trying to determine with blood tests and MRIs. But this Sunday, while we were conquering a mountain full of her candy-colored shorts and comic-brand t-shirts and shooing away the cat, this girl-baby walked into our bathroom. We kept the details of his illness from him. He was just a freshman in high school and I had an argument with him. The truth is, we don’t know what’s going on. The doctors don’t agree with what I feel: nowadays it smells like curdled milk and purulent. I urge you to be patient, not angry, the latter is what I recommend. Showering doesn’t stop the smell from bleeding. The stench was unforgiving on her cold skin. He has to sleep in the afternoon and I follow him on Sunday afternoon. I sniff the crevices of his neck, shoulders, and back, knowing that this is the wrong scent of my husband, the father of my beloved daughter. I hugged her tightly to my chest. Outside our locked bedroom door, our little girl lifts up her folded clothes and realizes that we’re not telling her the truth, but more concerned with wanting the smell of a girl who reads comic books and plays the clarinet. He has too many friends to follow his parents in clothes that don’t stink of a broken man. She ruffled her hair in disarray, panted as much as a fourteen-year-old could, and announced to the cat: Go ahead, I’ll do the laundry myself.