I found an old ivory-decorated little box tucked away among her possessions. The box was locked but easy to foil by a person determined to seek answers. The old woman had a lived a charmed life full of money, travel, and whiskey.
She had worn her classical beauty as a haughty warning to all who came near. An acerbic genius at inserting the dagger right into the softest spot with ease. Her own soft spot was animals, the wilder the better. Her feral streak, I guess.
The box felt empty but it was hiding a small crimped note underneath the velvet. I hesitated. My face in the above gilded mirror was not the face I depended upon. Flashes of the old woman blurred my vision. I imagined the old cord between us.
The old cord, discarded continually. Seesawing between venom and disinterest. No back-up plan, no come-to-Jesus moments, just an invisible border wall. I can’t seem to breathe, the portentous air enveloping me as I read: “I did the best I could. Mom.” I shut the box and put it back where it belonged.