Everything that doesn’t remind you of him

You don’t remember it being this eerie. Brighter in the estate agent’s brochure, but then the house was full of someone else’s belongings, a young couple. New baby. Outgrown their love nest.

Your love nest died with Nick. No breadwinner to pay the bills so you took a part-time job, then full-time but it still wasn’t enough so you’d down-sized when it had become apparent that you’d not cope… coping was the last thing you’d wanted to do but you did it for Nick, or the memory of him.

He was the one who held it all together, took you in his arms when he saw the tears forming, his large brown eyes melting your heart every time.

It had surprised you when you’d opened the door to the two policemen that you’d not cried then – you didn’t in front of strangers, even at the cinema with a sad movie. This was the strength you’d been wearing ever since.

Looking around the shell of each room, the piles of boxes with their names in black letter; lounge, kitchen, bedroom, you wonder if this is where you’ll spend the rest of your life, in a little old house surrounded by everything that doesn’t remind you of him.

“If anything should happen,” he’d said, as if he’d known, “move on, meet someone else.” But you’d known him since school and couldn’t imagine anyone else’s arms around you, although you know Ted at work has a soft spot for you.

You put the kettle on and start opening boxes. The kitchen is easy so you start with that. One cupboard’s already full when the kettle clicks off and you make yourself a cup of tea. You always have, even Nick could never get it how you like it; little tea, little milk, little sugar. Weak on the outside, strong underneath – that’s what he’d said, knowing he meant you.

And now you are, you have to be, and as you look at the next box you take a deep breath and pull open the flaps.

***

Photography courtesy of morguefile.com.

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