A sudden fiction thing that I’ve tried writing before. Never been particularly successful at getting the… whatever it is I’m trying to get, but that doesn’t stop me from poking at it.
By Monday afternoon the best parts of the weekend are already hazy.
The house is hot when I open the door; the same temperature as it is outdoors where the air is thick and heavy and even the trees try to stand as still as possible to conserve energy. I drop my keys on the stand and listen, but other than the ten-dollar clock ticking on the wall next to me there isn’t anything to hear.
I take a shower to get the feeling of work as far away from me as possible and pull on some old clothes before padding around the house. There isn’t any television and it’s too hot to do anything in the office. I think about sitting on the porch but it’s on the west side of the house. Before I realize it I’m picking things up; straightening, wiping down, putting away.
There isn’t any lipstick on the glasses; you don’t wear any. We ate out most of the weekend, so the plates are clean. It looks as though I was the only person here.
About the same time I finish up I hear the trees stir outside like someone rolling over in their sleep. A breeze wanders through the house; it smells like rain. I look out through the porch and watch clouds coming in that look like they’ve got something to prove.
The bedroom is already cleaned up, which is a relief. I drop onto my side of the bed with a glass of ice water and distract myself with a book while the weather changes. The rain doesn’t come by the time my eyes get heavy and I shut off the light surrounded by the tension that storms push in front of them like a broom.
I don’t look at the phone the whole night. Not once.
The storm finally comes in the middle of the night and wakes me up, the way all the really bad storms do. I lie on my stomach with my chin resting on crossed arms, watching the water run down the window while lightning burns images on my retina, and I try to think about you.
But the pillow you slept on doesn’t smell like your perfume. The sheets don’t smell like your skin. There’s no indication that you’ve ever been in my house, and I think that has to mean something.
The storm breaks up around three in the morning. I fall asleep a while later.
The next morning the neighborhood is littered with leaves and branch bits. I watch people sweep the sidewalks or rake their lawns as I get ready for work. I never called you. I don’t think I’m going to.
I guess it doesn’t feel like you’re gone because it doesn’t feel like you were ever here.
I’m trying to miss you, but there’s no place to start.