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you can control your cells.” Maybe that was one of the things that didn’t sit too well with him; maybe my constant need for love is what drove him away from me and into the loving, caring, and understanding arms of his mother. Kids are like that: they don’t like needy parents; they consider them weak. They need protection, someone to take care of them even against their wishes, and I’m sure they can identify which

Fig. B parent is more capable to lead them safely through their lives. “She understood life better than you ever will,” he told me once, the same year his mother died. I don’t remember what prompted him to tell me that. We were not having a fight or anything like that; we never even argued. We loved each other! Why would we fight? But those words hurt me. They were not intended to hurt me, but they did anyway. And not because I thought that they meant that he loved his mother more than he loved me; jealousy was not the issue anymore; I couldn’t be jealous of a dead person. They hurt me because with them he told me that he

had chosen his mother’s philosophy of life over mine. He was making the same mistake his mother did, and that terrified me! “Son,” I replied. “Let me help you.” He looked at me with his eyes so serene, a faint shade of facial hair making him look older than his nineteen years. I don’t know how much time he spent like that, just looking at me; it’s been too many years since that day, more than fifty years, more than half of what used to be considered a lifetime, so the memory has faded to some extent. But I do remember the way he embraced me right after: tightly, lovingly, and for almost as long as he had been staring at me before; and I also remember how he said something in my ear, very quietly, as if he didn’t really want me to hear it: “I’m the one who can help you.” And then in an even softer whisper: “God bless you.” I pretended I didn’t hear that last sentence. I even tried to convince myself that I had misunderstood him. I was too much of a coward to confront him like I confronted his mother years earlier, when we separated, when she started to let herself die.

Profile for Conjectural Figments

Conjectural Figments Feb 2012  

ConFigs, the first issue. Transhumanism. Interview: Simon Morden. Poetry: Jhon Z. Baker, Dale Herring. Short Fiction: Richard Thomas, Simon...

Conjectural Figments Feb 2012  

ConFigs, the first issue. Transhumanism. Interview: Simon Morden. Poetry: Jhon Z. Baker, Dale Herring. Short Fiction: Richard Thomas, Simon...

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