As she walked up the 14 stairs to her bedroom her knees cracked as each foot pressed firmly on dusty old oak floors. Her hair wet from taking a bath and the balls of her feet leaving little imprints on the creamy brown wood, she carried a glass of water with a book up top its rim, and a bowl of Neapolitan ice cream. She nestled the bowl of ice cream between her left forearm and breast and twisted the crystal doorknob to her bedroom door. The peach lighting poured through the small opening and the curtains pulled towards the screen of the window. It was July and summer was in that sleepy place where it may rain.
Already in bed she rested the ice cream bowl on her belly and started reading the eighth chapter of a book she had read a million times. As she turned page 162 she remembered the last time she read this particular book. It had been several years but time has a weird way of effortlessly preserving moments that make you feel full.
It was fall and leaves had crawled their way into the entryway of the house. These leaves would break into small pieces and scatter throughout the house and this would drive her crazy. Irritated, she would sweep up all the tiny pieces, sometimes several times a day. He would shake his head and laugh at her irritability over something so uncontrollable and unlikely to change. Still she would peak that tiny smile in the corner of her mouth when he came to her to poke fun at her quick temper and kiss her. He was a glass of water on a hot day. He was a blanket just out of the dryer. He was taking your boots off at the end of a long work day. He was a cigarette after sex.
One night after a particularly annoying night of leaf sweeping, he gently took the broom from her hands and set it against a closet door. “Let me read to you” he whispered. That same smile danced in the corner of her mouth and her cheeks raised, making her eyes squint. They climbed the 14 stairs to get to their bedroom and once inside, she took her watch off. He, not entirely interested in reading, took his belt off. Picking up the book, he settled into the sheets and awkwardly but earnestly attempted to hold her hand with one of his hands and the book in the other. He read four paragraphs and then set the book down. They spent the night making music with their breath and eventually fell asleep in a shape not unlike a half moon. If a bird flew over their bed it would know that this is how people in love rest next to one another.
Amelia Olson ©