Brain Phrye
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“Do you think she’ll win?”

After a lifetime of talking politics, we were kind of ignoring this election. There were other, more immediate concerns. I’m not sure when she first asked, but it was when Bernie seemed to be doing better than the pundits had expected.

“Do you think she’ll win?”

I can’t remember my answer. I know my main concern was that Hillary Clinton had previously hired a horrible campaign staff in 2008 and I wasn’t clear if she’d done it again. I hoped she hadn’t.

“Do you think she’ll win?”

Watching TV and reading the news online were becoming harder. Her concentration was focused on her breathing. She’d ask me more often and she wanted real answers. Answers no one had. It was clear by then she’d win the primary. Her campaign was solid and while inspiring, Sanders wasn’t getting the voters to the polls. Which was a shame, but true. Dreams are nice, but reality is what you have to work with. And she had learned lessons from her past campaign - a good sign.

We talked about it. I knew she’d ask, so as ugly as he was getting I would skim the news. Looking more for her successes than his horrors.

They wasn’t just normal conversations though. She was asking for another reason. I had a growing realisation why but it wasn’t something I wanted to know. A luxury I could still indulge even if she could not.

“Do you think she’ll win?”

She looked up. Neck muscles ravaged by disease; driven by willpower more than chemistry. She wanted an answer. A real one. Luxury was gone; reality remained.

“I don’t know. I hope so. I think so. But it will be hard.”

She accepted that. She knew she wouldn’t know. Never know. But we could hope together. That we could do.

“I hope so too.”

A number of weeks later I contacted Suffolk County in New York state. Her question in my head as I posted the letter with her death certificate cancelling her voter registration. And what I hadn’t wanted to know, what she’d known all along, I was now making official.

“Do you think she’ll win?”

I still don’t know. I hope so. Like my mom I hope so for the positive things I think she can do. But more so I hope it for the one vote that won’t be cast. She knew her voice wouldn’t join ours.

But she hoped.

And with hope I voted.