by Kathleen Thomas
The night after our father died, our mother told us a story, but I don’t remember the characters or plot. I only remember my sister and I curled our little girl legs around the shape of her, the three of us lying in their bed in the dark blue room.
Somewhere in the story, our mother stopped as though she heard something in the distance. We could hear thunder, then a sudden downpour in the hot August night. The bedroom window was open; its sheer curtains billowed into the dark space. Our mother stood up, lowered the window. The room suddenly quiet, curtains still. We waited for her.
For a moment, she did not move except to lower her head, fold her arms around her waist. Then the silhouette of her turned, moved between us once more. We waited for her voice to fold us all back into the safe dream of the story. But as she pulled us close, we felt her body shiver, her breath become waves of sighs like the rising storm, the sheer curtains in the dark room.
We listened for silence, for words. We listened for the door to open, for our father to come home. We listened for the storm to end, our mother to begin the story again. We were sure all this would happen. We just didn’t know when. We waited. We listened.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kathleen Thomas is a nurse and teacher who combines the healing and creative arts in her practice. Her work has appeared in KYSO Flash, MoonPark Review, Apple Valley Review, and other publications. She has received a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in Fiction.
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