Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I went to your mom’s house. Because that’s what people do. They make the effort to visit in times like these. She greeted me at the door with a smile and a hug. I knew she was smiling simply for the company. I’m sure she was lonely, despite the fact that you moved out a few years earlier. Her kind of lonely wasn’t something one gets used to.

We made small talk in the doorway, and that was when I noticed you at the top of the stairs. In a t-shirt and shorts; Umbros or Champions. You were lounging. Totally at home. And I was stunned to see you there. You ran down the carpeted stairs, smoothly, and when you got to me you enveloped me in an embrace.

At your request I followed you downstairs, to your room, just as your mom was heading out the door. She called out a goodbye, waved and closed the door. “So, how is your mom doing?” I asked you when she’d gone. “She’s fine,” you told me, “She’s just stressed because we are going on a vacation and she has so much to do before we leave.”

You seemed to know what was going on, yet I was still confused. You lead me to your room, where I sat on one of two twin beds. I didn’t get comfortable; instead I perched on the edge. “So… how are you?” You turned from your desk, what appeared to be too small for you, left over from Junior High/High School days, “Good. I just have a lot of studying and work to do with these exams coming up.” Something was wrong. It just didn’t make sense. You were finished with school years ago.

I stood up from the bed, just as two of our other friends came into the room. They jumped up and down on the beds like monkeys. One would go up as the other was coming down. I wasn’t watching them but could see them in the reflection of the mirror.

We had a conversation through the mirror, both of us not facing each other, but the wall.

I asked you, “Do you know, Steph, that you died two months ago?”

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