Truth was the only thing we had left, the only thing that could possibly hold us together and for once, I wanted us to all carry the same truth and not some warped version of the truth we used to console ourselves. J held my gaze and after a long pause she said, “Fine. Nothing but the truth.” She held her hand out, the palm upturned and it looked so soft and naked that I held her hand between both of mine and our hands were soft together.
She came into the alcove and we both stared at our mother who shared our eyes but didn’t. Her body stiffened and her chin jutted forward. “I’m not sick,” she said, and kept repeating those three words so softly we could barely hear her. I didn’t know what to say and even though she stayed silent I knew J was thinking, “But she’s our mother.”
I closed the door slowly, our mother’s voice seeping into the dark oak and stopping there.
J collapsed against me and I held her or we held each other. All I know is that we stayed standing. “She was never our mother,” I murmured into J’s hair.
I’m not sure how long we stood there but I do know that where we stood was honest.