On Their Minds
Lucy Corin

Sam, a twenty-five-year old contractor wearing his favorite sweatpants and a cap, could tell by looking at his mother, a fifty-year-old woman with enormous blue eyes in the best shape of her life, that what she was thinking, looking at his sister through the tempered glass, was that now she wasn't going to be anything. That's what was on their minds as they watched her with her whole life in front of her, in her hospital bed, all eyes about her ghost limbs, the four of them. Naturally, they couldn't see where her brain stopped, the way it'd been explained to them about its amount of reach, but with an additional motion of his brain, Sam realized it was his own awful thought about what constitutes being, that he'd only been blaming it on his mother.

One being to another. Mother and son, mother and brother, they eyed the machines, but the machines still didn't seem to be related to his sister. Connected, but not related.

He tried to see breath come from his sister through the glass. In his brain he could see one little bubble of air rising and rising again in the top of her chest. He looked at her tight jaw, her changed eyes; even closed they were changed. In fact, he had never seen anyone being so hard and yet exactly nothing more. None of this meant he stopped worrying about the future. That would be a) a reach b) never-ending c) inappropriate d) stupid.

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