The Passed Note Issue 4 June 2017 - Page 20

“Hello,” she said. Then, as she always does, she said, “Oh, you’re triplets. My kids are triplets, too. Two boys and a girl!”

“Hi Miriam,” I said, my throat a little sticky. “We’re here to sit with you for a bit.”

“Please, have a seat,” she said, indicating the empty chairs at her table. “There are a couple more across the –” But Nick had already snagged a spare from another table. Tim adjusted the umbrella so that it offered mom more shade. We made a neat foursome around the table and I took off my sunglasses, tossing them into the canvas beach bag I'd been carrying.

Tim leaned over and poked the bridge of my nose. “Lady Raccoon.”

I shrugged and batted away his finger; who cared? It was summer.

“May I ask your names?” my mom asked. I chewed a little on my inner cheek. It’s a bad habit when I’m nervous. It would be easiest to pretend that we were just some random people there to spend the afternoon with her, as though that would not also be super random and awkward. Sometimes she forgets to ask, but when she doesn’t, Nick insists that we tell her the truth.

“In case it jars her memory,” he always says.

It doesn’t work that way, but we do it every time. And today it was my turn.

“Miriam, we’re your kids,” I said. “We’re your triplets. I’m Stephanie, and that’s Tim and that’s Nick.”

She sat still for a long time, just looking at us, taking us in. She opened her mouth as if to speak, but closed it again a moment later.

“Mom… I know it seems crazy, but there’s an explanation. It’s not easy to believe, but I want you to trust me, okay? If you think I’m crazy, or just trying to pull one over on you, then