So finally, the love story -- the little epilogue of the Barrington Street tale. It's a very simple one involving myself and Scott, who would eventually become my husband and dad to my little girl. He paints my toenails (although I suspect he does it mainly because it's a good excuse to wear a headlamp), he writes me notes in fresh jars of peanut butter, and he builds me rope ladders on the basis of "just in case".
After the whole fire department/axe through the wall incident, I expressed concern to Scott about how I would get out of a flaming third floor apartment, hypothetically speaking. It wasn't long before he showed up at my door with a Xerox paper box. Inside was a most expertly crafted handmade thirty-foot rope ladder, folded into the box in such a way that the top rung read "throw first" and provided you followed that instruction, the ladder would be launched out of a window sucessfully without having to worry about tangles or any other distressing impediment given the time-sensitive circumstances of its use. The last rung, which hung outside the box, was wide enough that it would catch in the frame of most residential windows, like a dog who can't quite fit an extra long stick through the door of his doghouse.
Luckily, I've never had to use the rope ladder and hopefully never will. But even if I live in single storey houses for the rest of my life I will never, ever get rid of it, even though it's just a bundle of wood and rope. Ironically, it might be one material possession I'd save in a fire.