How many is lots? (A story in 127 words)

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‘How many kisses left before I die?’ you ask me, as I kiss you goodnight.

Your best friend’s grandmother died this week, and you are full of questions.

‘Lots,’ I say, smiling.

‘But how many is lots?’

‘A million,’ I say. ‘At least a million.’ And I plant kisses on your nose – one, two, three – to start you off.

But then comes the illness, tsunami-like. And when I kiss you now I must be careful not to disturb the tubes attached to your soft skin.

‘How many kisses left?’ you ask me one day, as I am pulling away from your cheek.

The smile hurts my face as I prepare my reply. ‘Lots.’

‘But how many is lots?’

And this time I have no answer for you.

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