#18 A Quiet Evening at Home

by Wayne Scheer

When Karla arrived home from the hospital the evening Ted died, the house felt emptier than it had ever been. She locked the front door and listened to the bolt snap and spring into place.

After kicking off her shoes, she thumbed through the mail. Mostly medical bills. She closed her eyes and let her bare feet sink into the soft carpet. For a moment she was a little girl playing in her backyard sandbox, enjoying the tickle and scratch of the sand between her toes.

The shrill ring of the telephone jolted her back to the present. Her body shook. The caller ID showed it was her friend, Laura. Laura would listen to her and help make calls. Not now, not yet. She pressed the mute button and let the machine accept a message in silence.

A bottle of pinot grigio rested on its side in the fridge. She had bought it on the way home from the hospital a couple of days earlier in preparation for this evening.

Her plan was to change into sweats, pour herself a drink, curl up into the overstuffed couch in the family room, cover her bare feet with the afghan Ted had bought her as a birthday present, and cry like a baby.


Lisa Pellegrini said...

Wow, what a heart-breaking story! I love all the details here - the phone, the afghan, the sandbox, etc. You did a wonderful job here, as I can really feel her pain.

Jonathan Riley said...

We all have our ways of dealing with grief. Some more self-deprecating than others. Nice job capturing the moment.