“She’s ugly.”

“What?”

“Those were mom’s first words to me. ‘She’s ugly.’’

“Who told you that?”

“She did.”

“Well I was there, right next to her, the moment you were born and I can guarantee you, she didn’t say that.”

“That’s what she said. She told me that the nurse handed me to her, all wrapped up in a blanket, with goo still on my face, and she looked at me as said ‘she’s ugly.’ She said the nurses all but ripped me back out of her arms.”

“She said you still had goo on you?”

“Well, I don’t personally remember, having just been born and all. But yeah, that’s what she told me.”

“Well then yeah, it would make sense for her to have said that. You were covered in blood and god knows what else.”

“That’s not why she said it.”

“She didn’t say it at all. I was there.”

“That’s not why.”

Amanda’s dad went back to organizing boxes. One row of boxes for things to donate. Another row for things to keep. And several rows for things that needed to be thrown away. There was a lot to throw away.

“What were her last words again?”

“Just one word.”

“What?”

“She just said one word.”

“What was it?”

“I came into the living room, where she was sleeping on the couch, and told her it was time to get up. She just said ‘okay.’

“And that was her last word?”

“Yup.”

“I wish I could have heard it.”

“Me too, Amanda. Me too.”

“Did I ever tell you about that dream mom told me about?”

“What was the dream?”

“She said she had a reoccurring dream about flying in Papa’s plane, and holding me in her arms. I was a baby in this dream. Really little.”

“Well that’s a sweet dream.”

“She said she was holding me, looking out the window as they flew over the farm, and then the plane crashed. Somehow she and Papa survived, and she could feel that she still had me in her arms, and was relieved, but when she looked down she saw that her arm was broken, and a bone was jutting out and had stabbed me in the chest. I was dead.”

“She didn’t dream that. She was just trying to scare you.”

“Why would she want to scare me?”

“You know your mother.”

“It sounded real to me. She even curled her arms around an imaginary baby me as she told it to me, and looked down, picturing the bone going into me as she told it. I could picture it too. She seemed really upset.”

“Well, she never told me about that dream, so I don’t know. Doesn’t seem like a dream she’d have.”

“I wish I could ask her about it again. I’d like to ask her about the dream, and about how she said I’m ugly.”

“She never said that.”

“Okay.”

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