The sun breaks through the curtains, carving a path for itself along the wall. I listen for a moment to the sounds of morning, the birds in their trees, the wind moving through the branches of the large oak, the neighbor’s dog barking.
Today a group from the local church will come and take it all away, every last memory boxed up and loaded onto a truck. It was for the best, or that’s what I keep telling myself. How can I stay in this house? With its empty rooms and dark corners.
The doorbell rings, I catch my reflection in the mirror before heading downstairs. The men are quick with their work, and by mid-day, almost every hard memory is packed away in large brown boxes. I am making us all some lemonade when the gentlemen call me from the living room.
“Ma’am, what would you like us to do with the stuff in this case?”
My gaze follows his hand, breath catching in my throat, to the small butterfly net sitting there waiting. How can I put this in a box like everything else?
For a moment, he is here with me. Running across the yard, the butterflies landing just out of reach. His laughter fills the house, and all the dark corners are replaced with warmth and love.
“Ma’am…?” He says softly.
“Would you like us to box this up?”
The shadows come rushing back.
“Yes, all of it goes.”