The front door had been boarded up, so I approached the back entrance, with the patio. The lock worked no longer, and the door gave way by my slight push. A whoosh of fresh air intermingled with the stale ashes, and I sneezed as they collided. Sun shone through the cardboard covered windows, clouds of dust and sun particles swirled and danced enchantingly, beckoning me forward.
Everything was where it had been abandoned. Aside from a fine accumulation of dust, and the acute smell of smoke, the home stood, waiting. The glass top table with little fingerprints on its underside where the kids played beneath it, the pantry door with the broken child safety lock hung ajar. The rug by the sink, the mat by the door, both needed a good beating. Plastic cups from late nigh thirst quenches lay waiting to be disposed. I opened one cabinet, all the dishes were there, stacked uniformly, waiting.
I couldn’t do it anymore, my hands refused to open a closet. These things were no longer mine; my feet retraced their steps. They no longer had my smell, my touch, my familiarity, or my trust. All these things I betrayed, they are no longer a part of me, a definition of me. I am no phoenix, I will plant my seeds elsewhere.
Outside he looked at me eagerly.
“Take whatever you want,” I said. “Insurance is covering everything anyway.”
His lips parted, and there was a moment before he found his voice,
“You sure? Anything? Don’t you want some memories?”
I shook my head, no I don’t want any memories.