The Passed Note Issue 4 June 2017 - Page 24


Pinochle was a good game because my mom had played since she was a kid, so she still remembered the rules. I was sitting across from her, so we played girls against boys. It’s a fair match up. For one thing, the twins can talk to each other without speaking. I read somewhere that identical twins sometimes speak their own language. Tim and Nick definitely did when they were younger. They could have a whole conversation without saying a word, and they go back to their old tricks when they’re playing cards. On the other hand, my mom is insanely good at card games. She can count at least two decks, so she seems to know what’s coming before the cards are even played.

We played four hands. By the end – and I’m talking maybe thirty-five minutes – my mom had clearly forgotten who we were. It was like someone just flicked the off switch. She looked down at her hand, then glanced back up to play a card and was surprised to find herself sitting across the table from a teenage girl she’d never seen before. We knew well enough by then that the best thing was to politely say goodbye. Tim started collecting up the cards.

“We’ve got to get going, Mrs. Gerson,” I said. I rose and slung the beach bag over my shoulder. I winced from the pain of the strap – I’d forgotten how burned I was.

“It’s been fun,” Nick said. He started to lean in for a hug, but stopped himself. When we leave while she still remembers us, she’ll give us hugs and kiss us all over our faces and say things like, “I’ll be home soon, I can just feel it.”

My. God. It’s so hard that way. We get home and everyone just winds up crying for the rest of the night. It’s actually eas-