“That’s quite alright,” Vivian said. “I’m not planning on going home anytime soon.”
She returned to her seat and took her cellphone from her purse.
“Good night, Mom,” Angela said.
“I’ll see you two around,” Vivian said, and placed the phone to her ear. “Hey, Jay, it’s Viv. What are you doing right now?”
Angela took Genesis’s hand and led her out of the cafe. Traffic was light this time of night, but Angela still felt anxious crossing the street. The image of the van careening toward her flashed in front of her eyes.
“Okay, I’m just going to throw this out there,” Genesis said. “Your mom is hot.”
“God, don’t even joke about that,” she said.
“I think it’s the hair,” Genesis said. “You ever think of getting yours cut that short?”
“Yeah, once, when I was sixteen,” Angela replied. “Mom’s been copying it ever since.”
“That’s kind of cute,” she said.
“Trust me, it’s not,” Angela said. “Especially when you’ve lived it.”
They reached the hospital parking lot and got into the car.
“Did she raise you all by herself?” Genesis asked as she pulled out onto the street.
“No,” Angela replied. “I lived with my dad after the divorce, from age ten to fifteen. Then he got remarried and decided to move to Vancouver. But the custody arrangement made it so he couldn’t take me with him. So I moved in with Mom.”
“Did you get to visit him, at least?” Genesis asked.
“Once or twice,” Angela replied. “But he had a new family by that point so I was only getting in the way.”
“Ouch,” Genesis said. “Wait, so you have, like, siblings?”
“Yeah,” Angela said. “A stepbrother my age and two half-sisters. Twins. They’re twelve now.”