My husband and I go to the church craft fair. We are surprised because my mother is there. Her booth is in the corner. She is selling crocheted baby blankets and baby beanies. We don’t think it’s her at first. The booth is draped in black. Her products are black, too. No pretty-in-pink pink or robin’s-egg-blue. Not even the occasional relief of white. When we get close, my mother puts down the beanie she’s working on and smiles shyly. I smile shyly, too. My husband wanders away to the booth that has pottery car parts.

The woman in the booth next to my mother’s comes over and says,

“She’ll need a ride home.”

Like I wouldn’t know this.

My mother’s eyes are as big as a puppy’s. She nods. I nod back.

Then I go and spend money on gifts. Because that’s what you do at a church craft fair. Jesus died on a cross. His robe was shredded. We have to buy him a new one.

When I get back to my mother’s booth, it is packed up. Like Christ, she is gone. My husband, who bought a pottery V-8 engine, finds me in the corner confused. The woman in the booth next to my mother’s comes over and says,

“She’s waiting for you in your car.”

Like I wouldn’t know this.

My husband and I go out to the parking lot, and there she is. My mother’s in the driver’s seat. We are surprised. My mother never liked to drive. Before she died, she didn’t even have a driver’s license. My husband next to me says,

“Move over, Mary.”

My mother doesn’t move. She looks straight ahead and stays in the seat. Just when we least expect it, my mother starts the car, and drives off.

Quickly.

My husband’s jaw drops.

I am bereft.

“She left.” I say.

“She took the car,” my husband says.

“What will we do?” he adds. “She’s gone.”

Like I don’t know this. Like every cell in my body doesn’t know this.

 

 

Nan Wigington

Nan Wigington works as a para-educator in an autism center classroom. Her flash fiction has appeared in Gravel, the Gordon Square Review, and Pure Slush.

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