I could see it in her face: her brain knew it. Her heart didn’t. Her mouth, her tongue, her expression, they all knew. But not her eyes. Her eyes, the window to her soul, her heart, were oblivious to the devastation.
I walked into our bathroom and saw red.
The heat lamp was on.
A start of the engine later, we were leaving our house forever.
I’d never considered our neighborhood to be nice. But when I walked back here and saw the new line of houses like those on Oregon Court, I could see those were the exception. Immaculate design, spacious, neat, appealing. Modern, I supposed. Not like such houses as ours, which had been built half a century ago and looked like it, too.
But while these other houses were certainly not old like the others they joined and seemed to lord over, they weren’t entirely new, I realized. In fact, I myself had been there when they’d first been built and then displayed, years ago. They’d had a Parade of Homes to sell them off, and since the street was only a couple blocks from our place, Mom wanted to walk down and check it out.
I glanced at the line of developments now. They still looked as nice as they had the day we’d walked up the street, with everyone else who’d come to inspect the new additions to the neighborhood or a house they were interested in purchasing. At least, they looked the same on the outside. I couldn’t help wondering what they looked like inside now. I’d been inside them once, when the interiors were starch and untouched, showcased perfections begging like newborn puppies to be bought.
The clouds were tinged a pinkish red on the bottom, which slid into an untouched gray on the top that would’ve been dull without the sunrise coloring its other half. But together, they were beautiful, two separate realities colliding.
The memorial service was nine days after the accident, on a cloudy Thursday. It didn’t rain, though; it simply had the will to be depressed. Like the sky, I shed no tears as I walked into the church.
The weather was gorgeous for late April in Minnesota. Despite the paintbrush swirls of gray overhead, the air was just pleasantly warm enough to be outside.
Easy enough to make
Even easier to break
Every promise turned mistake
Cancer. Why did she have to use that word, like there was something wrong with me?
. . . Except for the fact that there was.
I couldn’t believe our luck when we finally dug out the last pair of boots in that design, slouched at the far end of the shelf as if that was their best attempt at hiding, to find they were the only pair in my size.