Will You Still Know Me

“The doctor will just take this itty-bitty part,” my finger taps my daughter’s birthmark. I wear an intentional mask of cheerful confidence. “It won’t take long and it will be all over,” I say with a nod of assurance.

My six-year-old Heidi’s eyes are fixed, worried on that brown blotch.

Her outstretched arm holds still while I trace circles on her forearm around the dark splotch. She watches solemnly, her forehead puckers, her shiny eyes darken. I bend my eyes to within inches of hers, willing hers to mine, away from the stain on her arm.

“Will you still know me?” she whispers.

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