Morning in the Hallway

She turned around in a way only determined people do;

in one swoop her whole body made the decision to go back inside and find her keys. It was that sort of morning. As she accepted the fact she would be half an hour late, the sunlight argued its way through the glass windowpanes of her home. The walls couldn’t resist the warm allure so they allowed the rays to dance with them, knocking them off balance. While the soft grays turned goldenrod beneath a canopy of reclaimed wood beams, she walked through the large ironclad door. The breeze entered with her and splashed the hallway with a brisk hello. The lone straw hat hanging on the row of hooks moved ever so slightly. Her heels began to click clack on the Spanish tile floor. As she moved through the space she remembered the glow of the town where they bought this tile; they were two young lovers on a romantic rendezvous. She lived in this memory for only a moment, until the familiar smell of his cologne lingering there like a sheer curtain tickled her face. The cedar base note always had a way of putting her at ease. He’d been gone for two months but his scent remained in these hallways, and these alone.

The house felt larger that normal, almost big enough to swallow whatever feelings she had left. She enjoyed that comfort; knowing that at any moment the high ceilings could absorb the rest of her pain and render her numb. She moved about the kitchen, sure the keys were on the counter next to her half finished coffee. If he were here he would know where she had left them. He would have brought them out to her after she had forgotten them. But he wasn’t here. He was in a new home, probably thinking of her. She hoped the tough love would help him get clean, but now she wasn’t so sure. As she reached behind the oversized terra cotta mug, she saw the shining keys tucked behind the dog bowl. She stopped and closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and prayed. She wasn’t religious but for some reason she felt as though God could hear her inside these four walls.

Before she left the kitchen she touched his picture hung on the fridge with a magnet in the shape of Florida that she hated, but he loved. She hoped her prayer would somehow leave her fingertips and touch his forehead, similar to the way his lips would touch hers. It was time to go. She took one last sip of her cold coffee and turned back around, even more determined than she was when she came in to find what she thought she lost.


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