I hadn’t entered the room since the night that it happened. How could I?
Everything about her space remained the same. Frozen in time. And I was afraid to face it. I was even more afraid of the fact that one day, we may move away from this home. The only one she had ever known. Then, everything she had ever touched would be lost. Forever.
It was night. The house was quiet. Empty, except for the ghost who echoed in the walls. I swallowed my heart. Reached for the knob.
The white wooden door was covered with posters of her favorite TV shows and musical artists. Teeny-bopper stuff I could not relate to, but I brushed my fingertips against it anyway. Aching to understand. On top of the collage, a sign that read “DO NOT ENTER,” was nailed into the wood. I told her not to do that.
Too bad, Abby. I’m entering.
The smell hit me like a swarm of bees. Disorienting. Yet, my nose could not take enough of the scent in to satisfy the craving; the missing puzzle piece of my heart. It was how she always smelled. A hint of weed intermingled with her favorite Victoria's Secret perfume. Less potent than I was used to. The fragrant mixture surrounding the area almost made me choke - on my tears, not because it was unsavory.
Her bed was unmade, the off-white duvet half hanging off the mattress. Her pillows were in disarray. One halfway down the bed because she used to sleep with it tucked under her arm like a stuffed animal. Just the way she left it. She never made her bed, no matter how many times I asked. I was grateful for that now.
There were a couple of pairs of different pants and shirts spewed about the floor, marking a hard decision.
I wonder which was harder to make.
On top of her crowded bookshelves were young adult fiction stories collecting dust. She used to love reading genres of all kinds, nerding out about the latest rom-com she was engulfed in. I always rolled my eyes, now it seemed I had some reading to do.
The snow globe from our family trip to Niagara Falls caught my eye. The snow settled neatly in place at the bottom, never to be shaken again. Plaques from sportsmanship awards in soccer and honor roll hung proudly on the walls. All of her accomplishments and accolades compounded into lost moments. Fleeting, final, finite.
I brushed my hand along her electric keyboard as I made my way to her bed. She marked the keys with colored stickers identifying each note. The stickers were shaped like flowers. A bouquet worn down by her deft fingers, making music never to be heard again.
I hesitated, but let myself lay back, sinking into the memory foam. The glow-in-the-dark stars on her ceiling brought me comfort. I could almost feel her with me as I counted them. Over and over again.
I decided to sleep there with my daughter. She used to come into my bedroom late at night when she had nightmares, this time, she protected me from mine.
I just wish I knew why.
About the Creator
BA and MA in English. Editor by profession, novelist, short story writer, and poet in my free time. I enjoy writing fantastical realism, horror, mystery, and nonfiction.
On partial hiatus <3
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Original narrative & well developed characters
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions