“You know, I never loved you.”
Wine sloshes over the rim of her crystal glass. The pattern it makes on her crisp white trousers reminds me of ink blots. I’ve been in that kind of doctor’s office. I always see a dead pigeon.
She says it casually, like it is a considerate piece of information to convey. I’ll be there at five. Careful, that’s hot. You know, I never loved you.
“I wanted to,” she assures me, wide eyes sincere. She takes another long drink of cabernet. “I just never really did.”
She needs a truth serum no more powerful than the wine. Wine and a carbine pointed at her stomach.
I remind myself that I wanted to know the truth. But elimination of doubt has turned everything red.
“I suppose that’s why you’ll kill me.”
She nods, agreeing with herself, keeping eye contact despite the weapon pointed at her person. I wonder whether or not she realizes that no one will save her. Disdain and arrogance are reflected in the curve of her mouth. Her raised eyebrow holds pride and approval.
“You should know this: I never loved anyone.”
My thoughtful expression does not change as I erase her. She makes no sound as she is blasted, and the metallic aftertaste of blood joins the sweet scent of wine.
When the shot rings throughout the room, I realize that I could hardly have given my mother a more appropriate epitaph than the one she had given herself.