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Updated: Mar 12, 2023

Her sons had left. For how long, she did not know. Nonetheless, she kept their beds made and their rooms tidy. Week in and week out, she washed the sheets and dusted the counters. All the while telling herself that today might be the day.

Her sons were gone. Still gone. No word had been sent of their return. Nonetheless, she made them breakfast each and every morning. They’ll be hungry when they’re back, she told herself as she fried their eggs the way they liked. Three plates of food made and always two left behind. Never mind, she’d tell herself, next week might be the week.

Her sons were gone and there was no sign of their return on the horizon. Every night, she’d sit and wait on her porch and scan the hills that draped her surroundings. Watching in earnest for the return of her boys. Three glasses of bourbon on the table beside her. They’d have worked up a thirst, she thought. Every night the same, one glass empty, two glasses full. Soon, she’d tell herself. Soon.

Her sons? Did she have sons? She supposed she must have, the men in the front room said they were her sons. Surely she’d remember having sons.

Their mother sat in front of them. Glassy eyed and unsure. “Ma, it’s us. Bill” he pointed to himself, “And John”, he pointed to his brother. She looked between them both and shook her head.

She took them in. Both men grown, faces full of hair baring eyes that had seen a thousand horrors. No, if she had sons then these men were not them. She stood up, clutching her walking stick for support as her knees threatened to give way. She asked the two men to leave and made her way to the porch bench. There, she poured one glass of bourbon and waited. Waited for what, she did not know.

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