Mother

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“So where do you want get buried when you die?” I asked my mom. “Rose Hills?”

We were driving on the 405. She turned to me, her eyes narrowing and smiling at the same time.

“Rose Hills?” She looked away from me and faced the road ahead of her. There wasn’t much traffic.

“Did you reserve your spot already? You know how people plan this out ahead. I just saw an advertisement, selling burial grounds.” I picked at my dry fingers, pealing the white hard skin off and sprinkling them out the window. The wind blew the dead scraps away quickly. Beautiful.

“It’s pretty pricey there. There’s this other, bigger graveyard…Forest Lawn.” She signaled to the right and changed lanes.

“Forest Lawn?” I rubbed the tiny gray and red spots around my fingers and blew on them.

“Yea, you get off on the ten, and it’s on the…actually, you know what. It’s too much trouble. Too much money. Just cremate me, okay?”

“You don’t want to be buried?” Blood seeped out from the cracks of my thumb. I wrapped it under my other fingers, squeezing it tightly.

“When you cremate me, you can just keep a little bit of the ashes and spread the rest out in the ocean.” She smiled at me again. “Keep me in your backyard or something.”

I laughed and said, “Just write in your will and I’ll do that.”

She reached over and grabbed my bleeding fingers, muttering, “I won’t need to write up a will.”

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