A Day Like That

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Liz Law

On a day like that, the humidity forms mist instead of fog. If any rain falls your skin is already too damp to notice. The only color that is visible when the air is that dense is green. Mainly, a shade of dark green intense as deep, mournful grief. That’s how I remember her…

She smiles as she invades my meandering mind. Her cotton T-shirt grasping the curves and creases of her upper body, while her skirt clings so closely it may as well be a pair of slacks. “Fionula beware how you frolic, lest they think you’re one of them.” I think to her, as though she could hear me, as though it might make a difference, as if it were real again. She laughs and the vapor about her shimmers in response. I shake my head at the dirt smudged on her cheeks and mud kissing the skin between her toes. She was always beautiful, but on a day like that, she was ethereal.

Standing in the garden with ivy as her backdrop and lavender upstage, she holds me in awe. “Honey, I need a vase for these.” She points at the weeds she just pulled. “Can you get me one love, before they wilt?” I good-naturedly mutter something about silly girls who value weeds more than flowers and head into the house. As I’m filling the vase with water I lift the lace curtains to see what she’s up to and the vase falls from my suddenly limp fingers.

My hands shake; the sudden grip of fear is replaced by the all too familiar ache of loss. The garden is empty. She is gone again. All of my joy evaporates as the sun comes out and chases my memories away. She’s not here, she was never here, and she never will be here. I tuck my head down and my shoulders shake as I start to cry.

Eventually, I open my eyes again and through my tears, I see the vase. It has shattered into all shapes and sizes of disaster. I begin with the largest pieces. I must be ever mindful of the imperceptible slivers that will embed themselves in my skin if given the chance. Tediously, I start to gather the shards of my splintered life. Usually I do just fine, even my therapist agrees. But then I don’t tell him that she comes to visit on days like that.

Liz Law (Lyzardly) is a glorified secretary for a glorified medical college in Manhattan. The only award she has ever received for her writing, was a “B” in her college creative writing class. E-mail: lyzardly[at]gmail.com.