interlude

Her fingers thoughtfully tapped the empty pillow next to her. Her eyes gazed slowly around the quiet room, the morning sun squeaking through the shut blinds, the dresser with drawers neatly and perfectly closed, the pile of clean laundry shoved into the corner; her eyes rested on the untouched, empty side of the bed. The sheets were still neatly pressed and folded, the pillow perfectly fluffed and placed, her freckled hand tapping that perfect pillow.

Gone.

The room whispered it as lightly as the sun touched her face.

Gone.

She didn’t move. Didn’t cry. Didn’t smile. Didn’t scowl.

Gone.

Her outstretched hand slowly retreated back to her side of the bed. Pulled itself under her, protectively. Her eyes never left the empty spot, the empty pillow.

Time didn’t stand still, but continued to move across the room while everything else in it stood still, frozen by his departure. The dresser with perfect drawers that she knew were emptied of his clothes. The pile of clean laundry was hers and hers alone. And the untouched bed. It was oddly inviting.

Her hand reached out again, this time with outstretched fingers that rested on the perfect fold of the sheet. Hand to arm, elbow, shoulder. Everything pulled her over to the empty, the cold, the warm, the new.

Found.

A smile started at the edge of her face, timid and small. It crept over her face, down her neck, shoulders, elbows, arms, hands, fingers. It spread to her chest, her stomach, her hips, down her legs, knees, feet, and toes. Everything felt… real. Everything felt alive. Everything felt better.

Found.

She stretched, reaching for every corner of the bed. Every empty space, every side, every corner and every wrinkle. For the first time in a long time, she felt found and free. And quiet. Her soul felt fearfully good.

The moment was a beautiful interlude between the marriage and the consequences of the affair, the other woman, the empty, the breaking. It was a brief but beautiful minute of life where she could just be. Be herself, found and free and enough.