I was sitting. The couch was brown, fingers grazing over crushed velvet to make the shade shift from light to dark. I was thinking. The thoughts were about nothing and everything as I stared at the wall. It was a soft hue of yellow, like particles that go from flower center, to bees leg, to air. I’m allergic. I look at the fireplace. There should be a fire in there. It’s cold. But if I grab a log I could get a splinter and if I light a match I could burn myself… I look at the dining table. Stare. It’s so cluttered, I should really move some things off. But what if they are things my parents don’t want me to move? I kept sitting, staring. I’m bored. What should I do? I look over to the window, seeing limbs lining the blue sky like veins. I want to sit outside.
I stand, going to my room and grabbing a pair of thick socks, then a sweatshirt. I put them on as I walk through my house, stumbling over cotton as I go to the front door. I grab the knob and twist, listening to the softest of metallic clicks, like that of mechanical pencil pushes. The door closes behind me and I sit down on my porch, sticking my legs through the gaps of the railing. My feet sway gently as if in water, swirling air into rings. Breaths come out in smoke as I look around my yard. It’s mostly trees. It makes it more like a forest. My pupils focus on the grass, brown like the couch and lightly dusted with snow. My eyes slowly crawl up wooden skin until I’m looking at skeletons scattering the hibernating plain. I look past them. When there are no leaves I can see the road. The pavement in cracked like expanding ice, chunks scattered across by the wind.
I shift, hands going into the warm cocoon of my jacket pouch as I close my eyes. I exhale, listening to the smokestack that is my throat, then silence. Everything settles before the wind starts, rustling the skeletons and hitting my cheeks until they’re rosy. I hear the song of cardinal and sparrow, the scurrying of rodent nails, the sniffle of my sinuses. I smell the sap drenched pine needles that hold on during every season and I feel warm at my core but numb on my face. It’s cold. My eyelids retract. I continue to look. At the grass; at the skeletons; at the bird that might flit by my vision. The wind ceases its howling, everything going back to tranquility except for my head. I start drifting down the concrete cracks of my mind, crisscrossing one another, twining and turning and twisting until I snag on something. Grandpa. I take in a quick breath, teeth clenching. Grandpa. The bottom of my vision blurs.
I try to continue my thoughts but I’m stuck, feet frozen to this spot in my mind. Salted liquid falls down my cheeks, the warm contrasting bitter cold as I look at nothing. Just a spot in between skeleton, and grass, and bird, and snow as I hear my throat utter the noise of weak prey. I force my mouth to stays closed, but I can’t seem to catch myself. My lips open in a pitiful gasp and I cry. I cry for the first time since bad news arrived with my mother on the doorstep. And I think loud and fast with my tears. I miss his tight hugs. I miss his husky laugh. I miss his old spots, his gardening hat, his soft yet rough hands, his knitted red sweater he wore every Christmas. I miss him. I take in large gulps of air, the cold frosting my lungs as I try to pull the pieces together.
Thankfully, I’m interrupted. The front door slides open, the plastic guarder making a light sound across the wood, but I don’t turn to look. Golden fur enters my peripheral. My friend, my companion, sits down at my side, her tongue extending to lick my tears away. She nuzzles me with her nose in a sign of comfort, the warmth contrasting the chill. My hand moves from the pouch of my jacket to rest on her soft pelt. My breathing soon lengthens to its regular pace and the wind dries my cheeks as I refocus. I look. At the scene around me once more as she rests her head in my lap, my hand sliding down her back before going up to her nape and repeating. I’m okay.