#282 The Leaving

by A. Smith

“Things should be used, not packed away.” She looked at the boxes littering the floor.

“I can’t just give everything away.”

“Sure you can. What’s the point of keeping it all if it just sits in boxes?”

“They are memories. Mom’s things.”

“Things need to be used. They have a purpose, just like you do.”

“You can’t compare things to people.”

“Why not? You put things in a box, and you think that’s any different than putting people in a cage?”

“Nobody ever put you in a cage.”

They stood silently, looking at the boxes instead of each other.

“Where will you go?”

“To the train station for starters.” A small smile, a hint of childhood intimacy.

“Will you call?”


Another pause, as they assessed that probability.

“You will be ok. You’ve got friends, your work…” And Dad, she chose not to say.

“And a purpose.”

“Yes.” A direct gaze.

“Is it your purpose to leave us?”

She shrugged, glanced out the window. “It’s raining. And cold. I should go before it snows.” Another direct gaze. “Don’t keep Mom’s things in a box. Use them or give them to someone who will.”

“Lils.” Blinking back tears, the girl reached out a tentative hand.

“I’ve got to go.” Her hand on the door knob, her hand not reaching back.


The call stopped her halfway down the walk.

“You could stay.”

An eternal moment, filled with possibility.

She raised a hand in salute, and continued walking.


Flutterby said...

Love the line "another pause, as they assessed that probability." It says a lot.

It's a very weighty piece at the end. What you don't say speaks loudly!

Teresa Stenson said...

Great use of dialogue, their relationship - past and now - shown well.

I really enjoyed this one.