25. When the phone rings the ground drops out and Zoe is gone. 

(Read in Spanish and/or Swedish)

  Tulsa, 198

 

Tulsa, 198

When the phone rings the ground drops out and Zoe is gone. It rings like a drill, insistent. Amy hears their grandma take a drag off her cigarette, and then she picks it up. Amy is lying on the sofa, back to the TV like she is taking a nap, although she isn’t sleeping.

A gash opens up in her head, and she brings her hands up to her skull as though to keep it all from falling out.

Their grandpa says not to mess up her pretty hair. Their grandma shushes him. Then she hangs up and comes over and puts her hand on Amy’s shoulder. Amy curls up. Their grandma says very quietly in almost a whisper that her sister has just been wheeled into surgery. She does not say that everything will be alright. For one second, Amy reaches around and grasps her grandma’s hand. Then she jumps up and runs into the bathroom and vomits. You can’t eat anything before surgery, so all she throws up is fluids from her own body, which taste like poison.