stephanie concepcion ramirez




False Memory. I ran into the kitchen towards the back door. The back door was open with the screen door still closed. I put my hand on the handle and push the button to get the screen door open. It’s locked.

“Don’t unlock that door.”

It’s my mother. She is washing the dishes and hasn’t even turned around to acknowledge me. She continues to wash as her shoulders move vigorously trying to scrub gunk off of a large pot. I stare at her back and watch the flowers on her dress move forward and back, forward and back. The nape of her neck fully exposed with her curly jet-black hair crowning her head like rays on the sun. I take my hand off the handle and look out the screen door. He’s sitting on a chair on the concrete slab that lies before the apple tree. The tree is in full bloom and is waiting to be relieved from the small apples weighing its branches down. The ones that the tree just couldn’t hold onto anymore rot beneath it, some of them staining the concrete with brown gooey syrup-like ooze. I look at my mother again, the flowers still jerking; I put my hands on the screen and look back out. He’s calm, sitting straight up with his dark sunglasses and big hair. He’s wearing a buttoned up white shirt and dark brown pants with his black shiney shoes. His sleeves are rolled up to his forearms and he stares straight ahead in my direction with his hands rested on his lap.

                    Doesn’t he want to come in?

I swear I don’t remember either one of us leaving our positions.  My mother washes and washes until all the gunk is scrubbed off of the large pot; the sink is drained of the dirty suds and the milky water makes it’s way down the pipes below the sink. The counters are wiped, the floor is swept; the kitchen is clean again.