I drove home. I pulled into the driveway, past the “For Sale” sign and up to the door. I pushed the garage door button and drove into the garage. I sat in my car. If you don’t go inside you can almost pretend that I still have a family and we still live there. From the garage, you don’t see the photos and Constance’s art have been removed. The place behind the back door where her backpack used to hang might still be there. Her lunch sack might still be in her backpack waiting for my attention.
Otis might be lying behind the door the way he did on the occasions when I worked or was out past Constance’s bedtime. On those nights, Constance would stay awake till I got home. Grace or Zopfia would give Constance her pajamas and help her to brush her teeth but she wouldn’t fall asleep until I returned. Sometimes, she’d stay in the back family room reading or playing with her iPad. On other instances, she’d do the same in her bedroom. The moment I’d get home, she’d do a little happy dance as she whisked away to the bed and a night of restful sleep, confident in the knowledge that mom was home to keep her safe and love her unconditionally.
I sat in the garage and I remembered and I wept.