Written by Trey Briggs

You ever walk into a room and forget what you were doing? I’m good for that. Except sometimes, I put my four-year-old down, get the groceries out of the car, and leave her out there. I’ve done it in the rain a few times. Osh likes to come out screaming about it.

 

I don’t remember.

 

Sometimes, I’m talking to Astor, and she’s doing that pretend smile she does, and I can’t stop staring at her. I get this weird feeling. Something in my head just wants to BE her. I want to eat her, just devour her entire existence. And I stare.

 

I mean, she’s pretty and all. A real babe, hun, Astor’s a knockout. It’s just not normal. It’s not natural.

 

Once, my husband came home, and I looked at him, and I wanted him dead. I looked at my daughter and wanted her dead. I wanted Astor’s whole family dead, all of them, skinned alive or mutilated. I didn’t want anyone around her, didn’t want any competition for her attention.

 

I don’t remember when this started.

 

I like cigarettes. I damn near eat cigarettes. But when I smoke them now, I imagine blowing the smoke slowly in Astor’s face, watching her stare at me in that bored way, watching it crawl into her nose and eyes and hair. I imagine myself looking in the mirror and seeing Astor, looking at my daughter, and seeing Astor’s daughter instead.

 

I don’t remember anything sometimes. I feel like my brain is emptying.

 

Astor promised she’d fix this for me. Whatever she’s doing is killing me. I don’t think about anything but Astor. Astor.

 

I just want to remember my kid when I’m putting up the groceries again.

 

I don’t remember the last time I was the important one in my own head.

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