Nancy heaved her bulging bag onto her narrow bed and began pulling out stacks of neatly folded garments that smelled of biting sweet detergent. “How was Thanksgiving?” she asked.
“Okay,” my said in soft, small tones. My forehead wrinkled, my voice grew stronger “The houses are so close together. I thought that was only in Manhattan.”
Nancy laughed, “That’s the way it is in New York. Everywhere except the suburbs.”
“Oh,” I sat up straight on the hard, wood chair, held my legs out, and pointed and flexed my feet.
“It must be hard for you to be so far from home,” Nancy continued.
I pulled in a deep, cautious breath, “I guess.”
“What was your home like?”
“More land, bigger gardens. There’s a barn and playhouse… and a kitchen garden” I replied. “The vegetables here are like plastic,” my voice rose, cutting the quiet of the room, resounding off the hard surfaces of the floor and the iron beds. “I miss tomatoes that taste like sunshine.” The words tumbled past the censor that had stood stiffly at her post since the day I woke with my mouth pressed against the rusty, dusty screen door.
“Do you miss the family you lived with?” Nancy, her folded laundry now stored in the solid utilitarian bureau or stacked in her closet, sat on the edge of her bed, her chin resting in one cupped hand.
Images of the world which the man inhabited rose in my heart. I pushed most of them away before speaking, “I miss Matthieu.” I paused to review my feelings. “He’s the youngest.” I added. Internally, I scanned the remaining images. “I miss the mountains and Lake Mirren. And swimming everyday and my sewing machine.”
As I spoke, mountains, large green lake, my body slicing through chlorine water, the whir of my sewing machine presented themselves. The censor nodded. Each might be allowed public viewing.
Nancy sat gazing at me. Her patient, gentle attention hurt but there were no more images fit to be shared.
“What do you miss?” I asked trying to redirect her to herself.
“I miss my horse,”she told me.
“You have a horse?” I asked, my eyes wide, my heart rejoicing that she owned one of those magnificent beasts.
“Yes,” Nancy’s face held a small, wistful smile.
Then silence hung in the room. Something more seem expected of me. My voice faltered as the sentence left my lips, “I – I guess I’m looking forward to Christmas.”
She nodded her head. “I miss my family too.”
Nancy sighed, stood up, took her shower basket and one of her still fresh from being laundered towels and left the room.
On Friday,100s of bloggers set a timer, write for 5 minutes, and then post the results over at Kate Motaung’s blog, Heading Home. She provides the prompt on Thursday evening. We don’t edit or concern ourselves with whether our writing is flawless or worthy to be seen. We expose our incomplete, unpolished thoughts and words to each other and our readers and tweet them with the hashtag #FMFParty. Join us.