Joe folded Maria’s letter and placed it in the top drawer of their night stand. Hmm… no longer ‘theirs’, I guess. He knew it was coming. He felt it too even though he didn’t want to admit it to himself. Life for the two of them had become stagnant after the girls’ death; at times, even suffocating. He picked up the old-style rotary phone and called Sylvie. He could always count on his sister in times of need. This was one of those times. Joe went onto the front porch to wait for her. Being inside didn’t feel right anymore. He knew what he had to do, but he needed someone else’s reassurance. He didn’t want any more regrets. Not now. Not ever again.
After Sylvie pulled away in her red station wagon, Joe sat outside for awhile longer. His big sister had agreed that selling the house was the right thing to do. Too many memories, too many reminders of what was no longer. Their once lived-in home even smelled of them–all three of them. Maria, Rosie and Lilly. It was a sweet, innocent scent tempered by the familiar smell of fresh-baked muffins or cookies. Joe found himself smiling slightly as he thought of Maria’s favourite pink-laced apron and then he wept, and wept and wept like a newborn baby all over again. Twice in one day. Definitely a record for him. What would Maria have thought? Where was she, anyway? Could she… would she really go back there? He immediately placed the call.
The well-dressed real estate agent finalized his decision by placing a stark white ‘For Sale’ sign at the front corner of their lot in Rochester. Everyone would know now. Everyone. He hoped that the house would sell soon, meanwhile there was some packing to do and some stops to make. One stop that he almost couldn’t bare the thought of, but he would have to… he would have to bring himself to do it.
The above instalment is number 6 of my Short Story Series. Although each story part is a continuation of the last, I have designed each storyline so that they can also be read separately. I’ve purposely kept them short for quick, easy reading in response to a writing initiative that I was presented with awhile back.
Parts 1-5 can be found here: