She came back once. As a brunette. She had a new man, but he waited in the car. Daddy's knuckles turned white, but his eyes couldn't help but sparkle with adoration. She was very thin again. We all went out onto the veranda. She didn't hug me, but she patted my head, and later held my hand. Her hands were cool and soft and I wished we'd magically become conjoined like that. She had presents. A Polaroid camera and a small gold chain with a heart.
Until about a year ago I wore that heart every day. And this is very strange because I tend to lose all jewelery all the time.
I asked her where she had been: Where have you been mommy? I said.
And she said: Oh honey, I've been working. A woman's got to work, you know.
I remember how daddy turned his face away but I still saw his eyes become flooded with tears, almost to the brim.
When she drove off again, with the mustached man by her side, I wondered why she had given me a heart when she didn't have one.