She sat next to the bed in the same chair where she had first rocked the boys when they were teething and sleepless and then years later waited for them to come home, trying not to watch the clock hands make their way towards midnight. The shades were down, but she could see the August afternoon peeking in around the edges. The air was quiet and the AC had cooled the room until it was almost damp, cellar-like. She thought she could smell the damp earth crumbling beneath the house.
She stared straight ahead, not moving. Dry-eyed, even now. It might be some sort of good luck that If she kept still enough, she wouldn’t break. If she focused on the closet door across the room, she might slow time. Maybe even turn it back–back to when she rocked those babies and fretted over teenage wildness.
“Mom?” It was Joe, whispering in the hall.
“Mom?” he said a little louder, daring to crack the door.
“But, Mom … “
“Joseph Daniel, leave me be.”
And so the door pulled back, knob turning gently into the latch. Down the hall she heard dishes sliding onto the table, heard the silverware drawer rattle, smelled onions and garlic. But none of it for her. They kept their voices low, for that she was thankful.
“Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to forget,” she whispered to the dark.
[The flash fiction “Remembering”, 2016 draft, appeared first on This Is My Symphony.]