Before I deliver the snippet, I wanted to let you all know I’ll be gone for the day. Loppity-lop-lopping instead of hoppity-hop-hopping. And later, I’ve got my live critique group. But I’ll be back tomorrow to join the fun.
She looked down at the bedspread. “Well,” she said. “He’s died a couple times but the doctors brought him back.”
“Why didn’t you tell me? How could you keep that from me?”
“Shhh,” she said. “Hate it when you cry.” She jumped up and ran to the bathroom, coming back with a cheap, small no-named box of tissue. She pulled. It made a whoosh sound. She handed a wad of them. “Here, blow.”
“You know,” Cynthia said. Whoosh, whoosh, she handed me two more.
I took the tissue and blew my nose again.
“He and I had plans to sneak you onto a plane to Venezuela. But you derailed me every time, or should I say, your mother’s plans derailed me.”
“Okay. But why didn’t you tell me he died a couple times?” I asked, tossing my gob of used tissues into a wire wastebasket beside the bed.
“I didn’t think that part would matter.” Whoosh, whoosh. She tugged out two more tissues and dabbed at her eyes.
“Is there anything else you haven’t told me?”
She shrugged and looked at the tissue box.
“Cynthia,” I said, grabbing her shoulders, new tears falling on my face.
Her whole body frowned, and she slumped. “There’s water on his brain.” Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. This time she yanked tissues out of the box and handed me one.
“Oh my God,” I sobbed.
She swabbed at her own tears with the other tissues. “The doctors are keeping him in a coma.”
Cynthia ran her hand under her runny nose. “Because they needed to drill a hole into his skull to relieve pressure.” She took my hand off her shoulder, squeezed it, and sniffled. “I’m sorry, Lila. I should’ve told you sooner but I was afraid you’d—”
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