Long ago, when I was a young woman and my boyfriend tried to end his life and ended up in intensive care after surgery to repair five stab wounds to his abdomen, my mother gave him rocks she’d found at the beach and a jade plant she’d bought at the grocery store. She held the rocks in her hand like she was holding a surprise for a small child. He held out his hand, the one without the IV, and she dropped the three rocks on to his palm and he closed his fingers around the rocks like they were fine diamonds that needed hiding from robbers.
This was their introduction, their first and only meeting.
He didn’t question her about the rocks, why she’d chosen them, or more to the point, why she thought to make them a gift. That seemed to have been secretly communicated between them while…
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