[orginially published in the Ignatian Literary Magazine, 2013]
She’ll be out today. A lovely homecoming for Carmindy.
In the two months of her absence from his life Devin has ordered seventeen dozen bouquets of sunflowers and purple matsumotos, her favorite ones, which he plans to strew about her little apartment. He’s got the keys from her mother and in that sunny week before she returns he’s mopped, reset, and cleared up the things so precious to her in that space. He loves the warm colors on the thin walls, plastered in orange, blue, and white frames. They’re filled with her lives in Madrid, Brooklyn, and Ici Ice Cream—that particular photograph of her and her dog Maxie, both dribbling brandied cherry and saliva, it sure was priceless.
Carmindy will be back. And when she is Devin is sure of how much she’ll love that her CDs and Vinyl are scattered in the corner on her braided lilac rug where the wine stains never came out. The red marks are the premise for the mystery novel she was bent on writing after college.
Her shoes. That girl and her pairs on pairs of flats and boots and the filmy jelly shower shoes with the Brazilian flags on the heels. Devin looks under her brass bed, lifting away the neatly draped white cotton comforter, to eye with admiration the thoughtfully kept boxes of silken London Soles in various pastels. She’d always have a sparkle in her eye when she wore a pair and told their friends that Devin bought them all for her 24th birthday.
It’s been two years since. The apartment was there then, and now it is glowing, more than ever. Devin’s only wish is for the rest of the street to shine, for the apricot trees lining the sidewalks to blossom in this winter and the red-winged blackbirds to sing loudly in their sharpest notes that melody she and him heard one Saturday evening after their first date.
They were idly standing in the middle of the newly-tarred street under the apricots, waiting for the stars to come out. On that spot Devin had a feeling she would be someone he’d love forever.
She’ll be out today. Carmindy gets out of the hospital, but she won’t be alive when she does.