It was Monday, May 9th, and a beautiful spring morning.
Bill and I had spent most of our weekend cleaning house
and fine-tuning any discrepancies in preparation for our
latest project: selling our home. The house was
immaculate and we felt ready for the challenge.
Bill and I had new dreams and plans. We had placed our
house on the market the previous week, and the realtor
had said this day, after advertising, would probably be the
day for customers to want to take a look. We’d known
that ads were placed in the real estate magazines over
the weekend and figured we’d better make sure
everything was perfectly tidy for any lookers. So, beds
were made and everything sparkled and smelled just
We sat with our coffee and stared at perfection. We
giggled with optimism about how the first person to see
our home would probably say, “This is it! I must have this
wonderful house! I will gladly pay any amount of money. I
will pay even more than the asking price as long as I can
have it!” We laughed and then stopped to gulp, because
this was our home. There was a fine line between
excited and utterly horrified that someone would actually
want it. Finally, we just held hands and sat quietly,
knowing that what will be, will be.
We enjoyed the moment and decided we had better get
ready for work. We usually left home about 10:30 and this
day would be no different. I dressed and was waiting for
typed and stapled together. I wished I could wave a
magic wand with sparkly sprinkle dust and make them
all start shuffling about until one neat, organized
manuscript appeared. I knew I needed to get all my
deepest thoughts: the paragraphs of fulfillment, the
sequences of happiness, true love and dismay – all into
some kind of logical order. There was a story to be told
about a girl (me) and a boy (Bill). The story was
somewhere in this pile. I knelt down on the tile floor to get
a closer look. Seeing the ragged-edged pages and post-
it notes scribbled with hasty scrawls, whatever had been
previously attempted was no longer clear to me. Was this
the best I could do?
I thumbed through the pages. A sentence popped out at
me as though highlighted. I read aloud, ‘The sirens could
be heard coming down the street until they ended in an
abrupt death…silence.’ Seeing my handwriting, I
wondered how I could relive that day in black and white.
But I'd made a promise over a year ago.