by Gina Warren
“I’m noticing some tension between us,” Mom tells me, leaning forward to look past Dad, cramped into the narrow airplane seat between us. “And I would like to clear the air before our trip.”
Ten minutes until take-off.
Eighteen hours since I found Mom’s stash of Vicodin in the top left bathroom drawer.
Two pieces of luggage under my feet.
Twenty days since Mom put her elbows on the counter after dinner and held her face in her hands. She stammered that she’d been thinking about using for four months, since her father had died suddenly. She told me that night, “I haven’t used because I know if I do I will lose you.” There are no numbers or fractions to make pain divisible by a common denominator, to make computation possible.
Two hours and seven minutes before we land in Texas for a layover.
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