• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 06

Mother of Pearl

Her daughter follows her everywhere as they walk along the sandy shore. She swats the little girl away, annoyed but secretly flattered by the attention. She wonders if her own mother felt this way, but can only remember the woman as coarse and impatient.

She thinks of the baby she lost, her wish to break the pattern of a lonely daughter becoming a haggard mother, then a depleted grandmother. But this family is female, rooted to the earth in a way she can’t stand anymore.

She wants to swim through the water like a jellyfish, tired of being tied down and obligated. She thinks of that lost baby and wonders where it lives now, if it feels her yearning. That baby could have made all the difference. That baby could have changed her world.

She grabs her daughter’s hand, the fingers sticky and wriggling in her fist. She reaches for her mother, who pulls back with a scowl. She can’t wait. She needs to leave now.

Her heart takes the lead and they dive into the ocean.