The Passed Note Issue 4 June 2017 - Page 22

until about two months after the accident that she even started to show. For a long time, she was fine. But one morning, after seeing her belly in the mirror, my mom had a panic attack that triggered contractions, and she was rushed to the hospital for a premature delivery. Katie was born about three days after viability, the doctor had said. She lived in an incubator in the hospital for a long time. I was too overwhelmed from losing my dad to understand what was going on back then, but my uncle told me later that he had been certain that Katie was going to die.

“She’s ten now, mom. She has curly red hair, like you, and she’s a really sweet kid. She loves to read, and she gets good grades. She’s learning to play the flute.”

“Ten? Where is she?”

“With Uncle Gabriel and Auntie Priya,” Nick answered. “She had a sleepover last night. We were at the beach, and decided to come to see you before we went home.”

“You live with…”

“Auntie Priya and Uncle G,” I replied. “They take really good care of us. And Katie, too. They still live in the same apartment, and we’re in school and everything. We’re really happy, mom. I mean, given the circumstances.”

“Look, ma, do you want to play some cards or something?” Tim, who was still holding my mom’s hand, indicated the beach bag slumped between our seats. I rummaged for the deck of cards we kept in there. “Something to take your mind off things?”

“That’s probably a good idea,” my mom said, loosening her grip on his arm. Her hands still trembled slightly. She looked down again at her belly, embarrassed. “Will I remember… tomorrow?”