I slid the check under the inch and a half thick bullet-proof acrylic. I didn’t look directly at the bank teller till she asked me if I was really the father of her best friend in second grade. Yes, that’s right! I said, looking at her finally, and I asked about her younger brother and sister. As it happens, her name slipped my mind for the moment. I told her, “You lightened your hair! It used to be dark.” That’s right, she said. She asked about my daughter, and we caught up a little as she processed my transaction. We took a a while to chat—she still lives on Elm Street. Neither of us mentioned the event that changed their lives and set in motion the events that separated her from my daughter, her mom’s death in an SUV rollover in Texas. She said she wished to get in touch with my daughter and I assured her that I would relay the message. “It’s great to see you,” I said. I didn’t say that her mom had been a wonderful person, full of sweetness and laughter. I didn’t tell her now that she’d lightened her hair, she’d given herself her mom’s color.

 

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