“Welcome To The Club” Literary Lion. Space.

Literary Lion. Space..

Murmurs ripple through the crowd.

How is she?…Does she need anything?…Is she going back to work?…What about the children?…

I surf the room, nodding my head as I try to just pass through. Inevitably I am stopped and return to accepting the hugs, the shoulder squeezes, the kisses, the looks. The looks are the worst part.

At last I reach the door, a glass paneled door that rattles in the wind and sticks in the summer. It pushes open easily in the crisp November chill, leading to the nearly vacant backyard. Vacant, but for my sister. She sits alone on the old swing, toeing the ground to keep it propelled in a slow back-and-forth motion.

I pull my sweater more tightly around me, out of habit rather than an actual sense of chill. Life without Robert has left me numb to the changing season and its cooler temperatures. Georgia glances my way as I settle onto the worn wood.

“Too much,” she asks.

“Definitely,” I nod.

She passes me a steaming mug. “It’ll burn, but it’ll take some of the edge off, if you want.”

I accept the drink and lean back. “What I really want is some room to breathe.”

She smiles as I grimace at the taste of the whiskey-laced coffee, then pass her the mug. “Give it a week or so,” she says quietly. “All these people will go back to their regular lives and they’ll start to look past you. You’re part of a special club now, one that most hope they never have to join, but inevitably will.”

“Club, eh?”

“I call it the “W” club,” she says wryly. “That way it fits for both genders.”

I turn to look my sister in the eye. “I’m sorry if I looked past you after Willow died.”

She nods. “I know. I’m sorry we have this to share now, too.”

I lean my head on her shoulder and take the mug back for another drink. We sit, staring at the empty backyard, at the scattered leaves and dead grass, until the mug is drained and our fingers are like ice.

Welcome to the club.


5 thoughts on ““Welcome To The Club” Literary Lion. Space.

  1. Quite a sad piece, beautifully written. At least she has her sister to help her through this time, when all many people want is space and instead get a house packed full of mourners.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a beautiful response to my prompt, thank you. It uses space in so many different ways… the space left by a loss, the space needed, wanted and perhaps even not wanted after going through something like that, and then the space between people. In a way it shows how sometimes even the most awful of circumstances can bring you something positive, in this case bringing the two sisters together. You packed in a lot in such a short piece, it was a pleasure to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I’m pleased you caught the many ways I tried to weave in the theme of space. The story was in part inspired by Sheryl Sandberg’s post yesterday on the end of sheloshim (the first 30 days of mourning in Jewish culture) and my own observances of death in our society. Though a delicate subject, I enjoyed writing this story and look forward to the prompt for next week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t seen that, I will have a read now. That’s the great thing about wordpress and events like mine, it opens up a lot of interesting conversation between writers. Thanks for taking part, I look forward to reading more from you!

        Liked by 1 person

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