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Mom lost her best friends that morning.
For days afterward, she came home late, covered in dust, her eyes seeing me, yet also seeing beyond as she hugged me too tightly and repeated, “What have we come to?”
A picture of the four of them grew creased as survivor’s guilt plagued her. Then a chest-rattling cough took over.
“It’s nothing,” she said, until the night her tissue bled red.
By then I wasn’t a kid anymore and understood.
While holding my hand, she drifted away. Outside particles of dust seized by a September breeze soared, then disappeared from view.