Opal tells herself, over and over, that Orvil is going to pull through and make it. As Opal looks over at her sister, Jacquie, she knows that if Orvil doesn’t make it, none of them will. Opal closes her eyes and prays for help, though she isn’t sure who or what she’s praying to. After a while, a doctor comes out to the waiting area. Opal is afraid to look at the doctor’s face. She counts the swings of the doors the doctor has come from—they swing eight times before coming to a stop. Opal takes the number as a good omen, and sighs as she looks up at the doctor to hear what he has to say.
Opal’s superstition about numbers—and the fact that the door swings a number of times she finds auspicious—suggests that Orvil will be okay, and that their entire extended family will be, too.