She looked for the bag of garbage they needed to take to the dumpster before they handed over the key, but it was nowhere to be found. It was probably in the last box that went out the door. The packers, who were so careful in the beginning, became rather random as the day wore on and their belongings multiplied exponentially.
Todd checked the closets and drawers for orphans. They’d held out a empty suitcase as a precaution. Phillip was still tottering around the periphery of the room, can of compressed gas in his hand, blowing the dust from the baseboards.
Lynne cooed at Amy her bouncy, telling her that she’d have her own room soon, with walls the color of roses, instead of the corner of their bedroom crammed between the dresser and the desk. It was hard to say goodbye, all the same. She could see the imprints of the furniture on the carpet. There–the sofa where Phillip was conceived. And there — where they kept the series of ficus plants they bought and subsequently killed with overwatering or neglect.
She pulled a piece of tape from the wall where they’d hung streamers for Phillip’s second birthday, and the remnants of the red wine she dropped last New Year’s Eve. Even the chandelier she hated so, left by the previous owner and too expensive to replace, felt dear to her as it hung lonely where the table used to be. Todd had bumped his head on it twice already.
“It’s time.” Todd said, picking up the baby, who started to fuss, so he handed her over to Lynne.
“They packed the garbage.” She held out her arms and drew Amy in, her soft hair tickling her nose.
Todd laughed. “I shudder to think what was in there. Please tell me no diapers.”
Lynne cringed. She couldn’t say for sure.
“It will make the new place feel just like home,” he assured her. She could only hope.
“Come on bud.” Todd held out his hand.
Phillip toddled over, like a little Frankenstein and held out the can. “All gone.”
Lynne hugged Todd as they closed the door for the last time. All gone. But always with her.
Words by J. B. Everett
Photograph “Moving Day” by Heather Weaver © 2008 Creative Commons