Well it didn’t take long for us to begin arguing about how I should spend my time. I wanted to spend it in Rome, dying and selling beads. She wanted me to spend it returning with her to the United States, going through rounds and rounds of cancer treatment, and living with her and my dad. We couldn’t find a common ground and I didn’t have the energy to maintain the discussion.


My dad hadn’t come with her. It took me four days to ask why not.


Well, she told me, he’s furious. He thinks I abandoned him (which I did) and was, in turn, abandoning me to teach me a lesson. Dads are so emotionally stubborn. He’ll come around, she kept reminding me. But only if I return home with her and show him that I’m real. He’s an attorney at and works to protect injured people from the cruel justice system. So I never understood how he worked so hard to protect strangers but allowed me to float into and out of his live like a specter.


I guess the irony mostly lies in how soon I’ll be a specter (at best).