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ENGL 302-03


Journal 4

Prompt 3C:  A woman sits on the floor of her flat, surrounded by dusty unopened moving cartons paced 17 months ago…

Moonlit Heartache

God, the dust had gotten thick.  Erin looked around, surveying her surroundings from where she was seated on the floor in the middle of the room.  Boxes were strewn about.  The packing tape that had secured the cardboard flaps almost a year and a half ago has turned a sickly yellow and started to peel off.  Clearly the humidity had gotten the best of the flat in the summer months.  There was not a single box to be seen that didn’t exhibit the tell tale warping and slight discoloration of humidity damage.  She wondered if they could even support the contents of their old home…or was she supposed to just call it her previous home now?

Staring at the empty bookshelves on the far wall of the room, she almost let herself venture down that avenue of thinking, but thought better of it.  A strange musty odor mixed with the dust and caught in her nostrils and throat.  Finally breaking the trance of the emptiness of the room, it dawned on her how different everything was.  As the silver tendrils of moonlight slipped into the room from the window to her left, the once honey-yellow walls took on a dull gray coloration.  Erin inhaled deeply, trying to clear away the tightness that was beginning to creep through her body.  Again, the dust and must mingled together and she sputtered out a cough.  She contemplated getting up and opening the window but somehow that just didn’t seem right.  The idea of letting the refreshingly cool night breeze in to sweep through this place seemed disrespectful.

Erin abruptly sat up straighter, a frown creasing her brow as she looked at the labels on the boxes nearest to her.  There was barely any light, but seeing as the electric company had cut off power to the flat, she didn’t have many options.  Erin didn’t mind the darkness of the room; it comforted her, sharing her sense loneliness.  She managed to read the messages on the sides of the cardboard containers.  Tracing the familiar scrawled hand writing with her finger tips as she went, she moved here and there around the room, searching for one box in particular.

It was amazing how quickly seventeen months had passed.  There were days she still woke up and instinctively reached behind her, seeking to connect with the strong, warm presence that had shared her bed.  The cold comforter upon which her hand landed each time seemed to send a chill up through her palm directly to her heart.  Continuing on her search, she walked to the corner where the kitchen table had been set.  So many mornings she had taken this same path to find a surprise breakfast on the table, a love note scribbled under the fold of the napkin set next to her plate.

Kneeling by the box, she read the tag and opened it, withdrawing the photo album within.  Sitting again, Erin flipped to one of the early pages.  Behind the protective plastic cover, she saw her own face grinning back at her as she stood wrapped in Frank’s arms.  Then came the wedding pictures, the two laughing like children, frosting on their noses.  Flipping through, a sad smile on her face, she stifled a gasp as she turned to the final pages.  Frank’s once robust form sat smiling tiredly from a hospital bed, Erin next to him holding his hand, puffy-eyed, yet smiling bravely.  She watched him whither over the mere course of a couple pages.

She’d had enough and snapped the album shut.  Slowly, she lay down on the dusty floor and closed her eyes, curling into a small ball.  Clutching the album to her chest, she began to cry.  She wept and wept and wept, barely recognizing the agony-choked voice that escaped from her throat.  The sobbing racked her body as she let loose a torrent of emotions.  When she had no more tears to cry and a dull ache had settled in her heart, she fell asleep.  Boxes scattered around her, she lay sleeping, one arm reaching out touching the photo album that lay open upon the floor next to her.


One Response to “Moonlit Heartache (Journal 4)”

  1. Warren Rochelle on February 14th, 2011 12:06 pm

    Do you think she will keep that photo of Frank dying?