“One Autumn”

Sometimes she would just sit, lost in thoughts about how life may have been had she turned left instead of right; how all the little pieces fell like confetti from the sky to form this life in just this way. Rocking slowly in her chair, on the porch of the house on the hill she sat, day after day.

Listening to the kids play in the street, she’d wonder what it might be like to open the door and call her own home for dinner.

The street lights would come on, reminding all the little children the time had come to run along home for warm food and bubbling baths. Away they ran, squeals of laughter trailing behind them like ribbons in the breeze, the faint sound of a bike bell being rung, skateboards being rolled home. Someone somewhere was having a barbecue.

Glancing along the now empty street, she stood shakily, chin held high, inhaling the lilacs that bloomed in her garden. She ran her hand along the side of her neck, under the hair at the back of her neck, damp with spring sweat. Standing, she brushed invisible dust from her pant legs and turned to go back inside her house.

What was the point in cooking dinner for one?

She took her place on the couch, where the pillows knew the curve of her back, and the cushions welcomed her. A show, maybe. And then maybe she’d start that new book she’d taken out from the library. Such choices seemed meaningless when there was always time to fill. Endless aloneness.

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