This time last year, she’d been dead. She remembers lying against Leo’s chest, fiddling with the bracelets on his wrist. He had asked her about something involving the time, but she hadn’t really been listening. The next thing she knew she had fallen off the couch and onto the floor in an uneven heap, staring into the kitchen as her last breath left her body.
Leo hadn’t reacted, nonchalantly turning the TV on and flipping through the channels. He had settled on watching static, the harsh screech filling the room as he snuggled into the couch. Soon, his soft snoring accompanied the choir of white noise, a dirge for the fallen.
When he awoke, he brushed his eyes of sleep and started his day. He whistled in the shower, cooked in his towel, and packed his lunch for work. He didn’t even tell her he was leaving. The sun had begun to peek through the blinds, casting shining strips of light over her body.
Perhaps a bit too soon, he was bringing home new guests. They were numerous and varied, both loud and soft spoken, all of whom ignored her. Maybe they had mistaken her for a poor choice of a centerpiece, and collectively decided to not bring it up.
Family visits had gone better though, no fights. Leo’s parents toasted a glass in her name, overjoyed to see how well the couple had been getting along. Her mother liked to visit every Sunday, and she would always leave a nice bag of homemade cookies on the coffee table.
This time last year, she’d been dead. Today, she awakened. She grunted and stretched her stiff joints, shaking her head as she steadied herself. She barely recognized the place, feeling so different from when she left it. Potential had certainly grown in her stead, even if she overestimated how much. Their rhythm would fall back into place, the pair content with their imperfect game. Leo planted a kiss on her cheek, striding confidently out the front door.
Brian Sheridan is an aspiring educator and writer completing his junior year of college in Burlington, Vermont. He plans on integrating more creative aspects of literature into his classroom in hopes that it will give his future students a deeper appreciation and connection to the arts.