I can hear the low rumble of the harley starting up in the garage. It’s late morning, almost afternoon, and I’m still in my oversized pajama bottoms and a wrinkled t-shirt. I’m gathering up supplies from the kitchen to take with me to the basement. I’ve got a roll of paper towels, the antiseptic wipes, and a couple of dry dish towels in one hand and my cell phone in the other. The older teen left the house hours earlier. I watched him shuffle out to the car – barefoot and in boxers – while I quietly stood at my usual spot in front of the kitchen sink in full view of the hummingbird feeder and the driveway beyond.
“I’m worried about him,” I said to my partner who was sliding by in socks on the kitchen floor carrying her motorcycle boots in her hand. I hadn’t shifted my locked gaze from the tiny whirring wings and iridescent green hovering outside the window, my hands on the edge of the sink, my feet fidgeting around in my flip flops. “I think he will be ok. He is the one left behind. Just give him some time,” she said, opening up the closet and grabbing the gloves from the top shelf before exiting through the kitchen door.
I’ve been walking around with my smartphone for the past 24 hours, leaving it to rest on counter tops or tables and picking it up to carry it with me from room to room. And sure enough, there’s another text.
“Did you find my calculator?” the text reads. I slide it open to the keyboard and begin to type back. “Yes. Your father is bringing it with him tomorrow when he comes with your brother. What are you doing?” I don’t expect another text for hours but instead it’s instant. “I’m going to look for my classrooms today.”
“Good.” I text back. “Try to have some fun too, ok?”
The dog is now barking, the harley is slowly making its way down the driveway, and I snap the smartphone shut. On my way downstairs, I grab a pile of folded laundry from the washer top and carry it with me. In the teen’s old bedroom, a shaft of light from the half...
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