The Lady Who Drops Leaves

My mom was a special woman. Other moms attended bake sales and prepared lunch for their little boys and girls, but my mom was in the vast underground tunnels beneath our house building wooden walkways and installing lights so we could play hide-and-seek. She went off to multiple adventures in the jungle, sometimes bringing back treasures which she sold to make rent. She even got the Medal of Honor from the president for being a war hero. She saved the world multiple times.

Sometimes when I got back from school, she would sit on the couch and look out the window, planning another adventure. She would smoke the stinky cigarettes that chased the Bone Devil away. She would smile when she saw me come in. I would sit in her lap and she would tell me true stories.

Except you know I am not naive enough to believe any of them, right? Maybe I did when I was very little, but later on I just re-told myself these stores to amuse myself.

Here, let me tell you another one.

When I was thirteen, and fall was coming, my mom was getting ready for the biggest adventure of all. She opened the window and let the leaves be blown into the room by the wind. She let them cover the carpet and the furniture, and even herself. That is when I came home from school.

Her heart broke a little, because she knew this was the last time she was seeing me. I could see the pang of pain in her face as it cracked, her crystalline heart. She sighed and put a brave smile on her face.

“Mommy has to go now. Winter is coming and mommy is dropping all of her leaves, see?” She raised her arm and some dry leaves fell to the floor. They were red and brown and orange and yellow. Her eyes were red and brown and orange and yellow, too. And she blew me a kiss. And she got up. And the limped to the window. And she flew away.

I have not seen my mom since, but I know she is out there, having adventures. What do you tell yourself?

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