Sunday, June 24, 2012
We passed an old house that I rented a lifetime ago, and my lady friend asked why I suddenly turned quiet. As it quickly faded behind us, I tried to piece together the story behind the aging structure and spoke slowly.
When he left, the first thing I did was to keep myself busy. I packed his clothes, our photos, and the shared memories. The boxes piled up, and I ended up with more than the number of months we were together.
I shipped the furniture we bought as a couple to my family and said I was refurbishing. Alone in an empty house, I stripped the walls bare and painted them white, the same color as the fence that I decided to put up.
One piece at a time, I gradually filled the vacant space. I purchased a single-sized bed and mattress, hardwood furniture that would stay with me a lifetime, and a plush sofa that embraced me when I felt lonely.
It took a while, but the stale scent of his cigarette smoke finally went away. Splashes of color eventually brightened the walls. And scattered all around were framed photos of myself laughing with friends and family.
I came home one day and found him seated at the sofa, a lighted cigarette in his hand. I just sat quietly beside him and placed my head on his shoulder. He left again after a few months, and that time it was for good.
My friend asked why I was not surprised and did not kick up a storm when I found him in my living room. I explained that while I threw our stuff out, renovated the house, and built a fence around it,
I never changed the locks.
photo from tumblr.com