“Tony, I’m so glad we’re here.”

“I’m happy to see you, Mom.”

He walked into the room dressed in royal blue regalia. His head was down. He opened the blinds, and she relaxed her shoulders.

“The light is real nice,” she said.

A cord dangled from his hat. She stared at it. Tears fell down her white cotton gown. He fidgeted with his hands, and he handed her a frayed golden paper. Her fingers flew up. She cupped her face. Tired, she sighed and closed her eyes. Tony noticed her tense shoulders. He placed his left hand on her right side.

“Mom, you should relax, okay?”

“Tony, you did it,” she said.

He did not want to be here. It made him sad to see her this way. She was his first teacher and he loved her. Others, who would stop by the room, looked at her and were sad. But, they did not show it and spoke politely around her.

He knelt beside the cot. She reached out her hand and intertwined it with his. He flinched. It was just the two of them. Both cloaked in gowns. His was a gown of new life— hers’ death.

“I am so proud of you, Tony,” she said.

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