Mixed Wash Thirty
I couldn’t stop her whispered sorry tightening my hug. Finally, when she let go, she looked away and explained her reasons to the washing machine I was filling. She told my laundry basket about how her arms and legs now twitch from the nerve damage. I told her not to worry. I told her not to apologise anymore, which was uncomfortable as I had to make eye contact, so she knew I meant it, which, I didn’t. I answered part of her question by mentioning how I found her face down in the hallway. Underneath the dozen dead red roses, she hangs upside-down from her bedroom door. For some reason, she tried to smile. Her gaze seemed caught between the queue of our housemate’s washing detergents. As if she couldn’t make up her mind if she was biodegradable, big value, or just sensitive. Our eyes clumsily bumped into each other’s nervous yawns. She seemed interested, or scared about whatever I was about to say next. Which, in this case, was that I had to go now, which I didn’t. But if she needed to talk to just knock on my door, anytime. As I pressed the start button on the washing machine, I saw three detergent tablets staring back at me through the dusty glass door. But it was too late. I had started to glaze over with something like anger, at something like myself. So I left down the same stairs the paramedics carried her down. Through the front door I held open for them, holding the spent prescriptions. I walked past the freshly laid memory of where the ambulance was parked that night. And as I remembered how they collapsed her stretcher with such a routine indifference, a quiet thought stood up and heckled, you should’ve told her. But if I could take down those laminated memories of hers, I fear there would be nothing left for me to love.