By Victoria Melekian

Grandma gets cranky when I ask her about Dad, so I wrote deceased under his name on the family tree. I thought it was a stupid assignment anyway.

Sister Mary Agnes calls me in during lunch.  I sit in the creepy chair next to her desk, the low one that makes you feel like a little kid.

“Bring the rest of your lunch,” she tells me, but I throw it away when I follow her inside.

She takes a bite of her peanut butter sandwich, sets it down on a paper towel then twists the cap off her thermos and pours water into it. After a sip, she asks if Dad has died.

“No, ma’am,” I say.

“He moved, didn’t he?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Grown-ups ask questions they already have answers for.

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Victoria Melekian

Victoria Melekian / About Author

Victoria Melekian works as a court reporter. Her stories and poems have appeared in Monkeybicycle, Mudfish, Literary Orphans, Atlanta Review, Valparaiso Fiction Review, and other anthologies. Her story “What I Don’t Tell Him” aired on NPR. She has twice won a San Diego Book Award. For more, visit

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