She showed with a truck and a hatch back Subaru and her mother and step-father. I saw them pull up through the window, and went through the garage and lifted the door to see them shuffling across the front yard They moved in a slow triangular formation, cautiously approaching. I assume they were wondering what demeanor I would present them with, but that’s arrogance. They were most likely continuing a prior conversation that wasn’t my business.
There were ‘hellos’ exchanged, and I started helping them load boxes one by one until the truck was full. In the back and forth walks to and from the truck there was conversation, but I had checked out of most of it. Loads of shitty and unfair remarks and back-handed compliments. I just wanted this to get fuck over. She was in a shitty mood, and everyone tolerated it with a forced half smile and eyes full of resentment.
After they left, I closed the garage door and heard the familiar low metallic roar and hard crash as it hit the ground. Then silence. The overwhelming feeling of isolation arrived again, and the quiet solitude that comes after. It was another dose of reality- the sting in the chest as it sets in that she’s really gone. The tears well up, but never creep over the edge. It was just me and the dusty section of the garage floor where I had packed and stacked her half of our life together. All of her little participation trophies from our marriage, our life, our future plans, all on a truck to her mother’s. Shell decide what to keep and what to donate, and going through it all memory by memory.
I moved my feet and the gravely swish of my shoes on the dirty concrete filled the garage for a brief moment, then then silence again.
I stood there a while. I let the pain rise and fall, and let my new normal make itself at home. There would be a lot of these gaps in my environment where she had been and lived. Little dusty, empty spaces all over the house where she lived and left her mark. Places where we had conversations, held hands, cried through hard times, and cuddled until we were both asleep. all are now dusty, empty spaces.