I came home from school one day and my mother told me that my father was dead. Just like that.

It was years later that I'd heard he'd come home at lunch time and hung himself in their bedroom. She denied it even when I handed her the stamped copy of his death certificate.

"There must be some mistake," she said, and held it dangling between two fingers.

"Ma, it's crystal clear. 'Death by hanging. Suicide.'

"No, that's not the way it happened."

"Is this why you blamed me all these years?"

"He died of a broken heart. I never blamed you."