TITLE: Find X
GENRE: YA contemporary
It begins with a choice.
Mama did everything with a deliberate purpose. Once she made a decision, she did not look back. That’s why he left China with Mia’s father to come to the United States.
“How did you know he was the one?” Mia used to ask.
“I knew,” her mother answered simply. “I saw better things here.”
When she was young, Mia believed her mother was clairvoyant. She saw things. She had a quality. She was neng gan. There was no English equivalent for it.
Mama always chose. But that day, she didn’t choose for her heart to stutter while she was at the top of those stone steps.
It’s funny that they say you die when your heart stops beating, because Mama’s heart didn’t stop. It kept going after it paused, but that crucial stutter changed everything. The fall cracked her skull so hard the bone splintered into her brain. She was brain-dead.
Once her brain was dead there wasn’t anything they could do to bring her back. No matter what they said, her heart was beating, but she was dead anyway.
They can restart a heart, but they can’t restart a brain.
For once, Mama wasn’t the one making choices. For all of her neng gan, she couldn’t make the one choice that mattered – the choice to stay.
Seventy-two hours after Mama’s heart pauses, Dad chooses to pull the plug, and he stops her heart forever.
And by all medical definitions, that means Mama is dead.