#75 12303 Boyd Road

by Ashley Hutson

Hide the newspaper from Grandma. Hide the damned classifieds. An ad brightly declaring Renters Wanted: 3BR, 2BA—Home Newly Renovated! is running today. Bury it. Call the nursing home and tell them to skip patient paper delivery today, full stop.

It happened before, a year ago: Estate Auction Tuesday—EVERYTHING MUST GO! Thank God she was too medicated to notice that one. A case of pneumonia and a flurry of nurses made it easy to hide. Knocked into the trashcan with a papery whisper only I could hear, as satisfying as a joint cracking back into place.

But this, this. This horrible thing. Waiting for her on page C3. After everything else has been taken, sold. The milk-glass lamp, the antique washstand, the toy firetruck, right down to the plastic pheasant that sat on the dining room table at Thanksgiving.

And Grandad, Uncle Billy, Aunt Patti—taken a few years before that. All gone.

Renters Wanted: 3BR, 2BA—Home Newly Renovated! Beautiful home, custom built in 1958. Oil heat. Wood floors. Huge windows, lots of light. New paint. Wash/Dryer. Call 301-842-7832 for info, poss. rent-to-own.

If I get there first, I will shred it. Her roommate’s paper, too. Do not want her to see what has become of her life: the happy voices of strangers, echoing in a raided tomb.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

So true, and so beautifully captured. I love this!

Connie Walker said...

Transported me like a silent ghost into the room. Bravo.

Deb said...

Beautiful story of loss, Ashley. Made my heart ache for Grandma.