The day my mother dies, my father describes to me the woman who will be her replacement.
“A redhead,” he says.
My mother is dying alone in hospice, and she tries to gasp over the phone to me, “I love you,” but it sounds like a dog mimicking human speech—I rawr rawr—a dog doing a stupid trick.
My father is talking fast, telling me how the redhead is waiting for him. He says she parks at the end of the lane, gets out of her car, and stares up at him at nights. She’s waiting for my mother to be gone. She’s waiting her turn. She’s holding a vigil for my father.
My mother is dead now, and there is no redhead.