“Well. Here we are,” I breathe. For some reason, I feel like something is ending. I am a day closer to leaving, and I feel like we are floating in between time. This is all so frustrating, because this is supposed to be a time of new beginnings, a time to start my new life as a successful designer in a very cosmopolitan city. “Damn.”
Landon reaches for my hand and said all he needs to say: “I know.”
Pulling open the screen door and then pushing open the cheerfully painted yellow front door for me, Landon lags behind. He appears as nervous as a cat caught in an alley with a pack of wild dogs.
It has been a day or two since I have seen my mother as she had spent New Year’s Day huddled up in the office at the gallery busily getting necessary paperwork done. It is infinitely easier for her when customers weren’t causing interruption, however welcome.
“Mom? I’m—we’re home,” I trill. I place my handbag on the tiled kitchen countertop and look at Landon. The dishwasher is whirring and splashing and I can hear the small fountain outside that streams into the in-ground pool off the lanai. The source of the small stream of water is the infinitesimal penis of a concrete boy angel statue at the far end of the pool. My mom likes to keep most lights off until it is absolutely necessary to turn them on, so the room is dusky in the absence of light. I flip the wall switch up. Better.
“Sweetie? Where in the world have you been? I hadn’t heard from you, so I just assumed...” Mom stops and sees Landon for the first time. “Oh, hi there. I guess you’re Landon, is that correct?” Mom comes tumbling into the kitchen, her over-sized painting shirt is smeared with dried oil-based paint, all colors of the rainbow. Suddenly, the air changes, crackling with confusion.
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