The Adoration Of Jenna Fox Page 62

Allys and I live together now. We are old women in the skin of teenagers. Another factor Father and his scientists didn't count on, that biochips would learn, grow, and mutate because somewhere in that ten percent was a hidden message: survive. The biochips made sure we would. How much longer? No one knows. But Bio Gel has been modified for future recipients so that no one lives beyond an ’’acceptable and appropriate’’ time. In our old age, Allys and I giggle about being inappropriate. We laugh easier now about a lot of things.

’’Kayla's home,’’ Allys calls from the edge of the garden.

’’Send her out here.’’

I had seventy good years with Ethan. It wasn't until long after he was gone that I was brave enough to arrange for Kayla. She has his coloring, wit, love of literature, and sometimes his temper. But she has my eyes. My breaths begin and end with her. But I know that one day, when Kayla is of a certain age, I will travel to Boston in winter and I will stay there, taking long walks and feeling the softness of cold snowflakes on my face once again, because no parent should outlive their child.

She bounds around the corner. ’’Mommy!’’

’’Shhh,’’ I say, holding my fingers to my lips. She quiets, full of knowing and anticipation, her eyes wide and ready, and as I look into them every time I look into them I am reminded of Mother, Lily, and the something that it took Kayla for me to truly understand. ’’Come here, Angel,’’ I whisper, and she tiptoes close and nestles beside me on the bench.

I reach into my pocket and a squadron of birds already flutter at our shoulders. I share my fistful of seed with Kayla and we hold out our offering. The birds are immediately on our arms and hands. A dozen or more. And each so light. A few ounces at most. They take up only a handful of space, and yet their touch fills me in immeasurable ways. A few miraculous ounces that leave me in awe. And today, like each time they have landed on my hand for the past two hundred years, I wonder at the weight of a sparrow.

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