"The only way to make it any easier," she says, "is if they all had a specific birthmark or something." She flips through what pictures I have that survive and nods, like a witness going through mugshots. She is wearing shiny silver glasses with teardrop-bedazzled ropes falling from them, I guess, to hold them should she ever take them off, which she never does, not when I'm around.

She talks like a woman who just knows she's right. She has that tight snap in her voice and beady eyes that just burn, melt into your chest when you try to defend yourself. I guess that's why I keep coming to her.

She didn't have to say it, that there's a pattern. I knew it. I've known it my entire life, and I don't know if I am beyond hope at this point.

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