I was standing at the sink doing the dishes and M was scraping the last of tonight’s dinner into a bowl for tomorrow’s lunch. E2 came around the corner and stood in the doorway.
M looked at her for a moment, and then said, “If she were a zombie…” I thought I’d misheard him, turned the water off for a moment and turned to look at him. He continued, “If she were a zombie, and her face were that kind of zombie grey and her eyes were all dead and stuff… could you kill her?”
I was startled, dumbstruck, slightly amused. I looked at my daughter, standing in the doorway, gazing up at us with that angelic face, those big eyes, a huge grin. Then, found my voice, indignant, disbelieving: “No! No, I couldn’t!”
“You’d have to.” He said it as if it were obvious, as if it were… important.
“No! No, I couldn’t. I couldn’t kill her!”
“She’d be dead already,” his voice was earnest, insistent. “Well, she’d be undead. You’d have to kill her. No choice really.” The matter thus settled, he turned back to the bowl.
I looked down at my daughter, now standing by my leg and only coming to mid-thigh, her head upturned with that huge grin and her wispy strawberry blond hair falling straggly over one eye. I picked her up, held her into me, tucked my nose into her hair and breathed her in. I was supposed to go along with him, I knew, but… If she were a zombie?!? A zombie! Honestly! Whatever was in that man’s mind?!? I’m her mother, she’s my daughter.
He’s… he’s such a boy.