Plopping down in a derelict chair, she forced herself to breath deeply, taking in the sweet smell of the hibiscus blossoms erupting around her. Sighing, her bleary eyes wandered over the garden. The previous owners had been gardeners, according to the realtor, but with the house sitting empty, the yard had grown wild. Possessive tendrils from some mysterious vine creeped out, wrapping around the rusted table and chairs and the canopy overhead blotted out most of the sun, creating a cool and refreshing oasis - a refuge in the midst of this hot day and the heated discussions in the kitchen.
Maggie heard the chorus again, the same words spoken over and over like a broken record.
"I was happy in Corvis. We were happy in Corvis."
"I'm sorry, Baby. It was the company's decision. Not mine."
"I am home all day with the baby. Alone. Nobody talks to anybody in this neighborhood. Nobody."
"It'll come. It just takes time. You'll meet people. Just like you did last time."
"I don't want to 'meet people'. I don't want to start over. I want my friends - I hate this."
"Hopefully this will be the last time, Babe. We'll put down roots again. We're in this together."
In frustration, Maggie kicked at the dirt with the toe of her worn sneaker and was surprised to spy something. Rubbing her foot back and forth, she could make out the edge of a stone butted up against another. She leaned forward in her seat and brushed at it with her fingers. They were bricks.
Glancing over her shoulder she saw an old broom against the side of the porch. She set work, sweeping the space in front of her chair, clearing an arc. A cloud of dust billowed as she swept, more bricks unveiled in shades of rust and sepia. She worked her way toward the edges, grasping encroaching vines and dragging them back to the undergrowth. Soon she had cleared most of the bricks and she returned to the center, clearing away the last the detritus.
Staring at her feet, she froze. The pattern of bricks were intricately laid out in the shape of a heart. A fresh wave of tears washed over her. Turning, she found Wilson standing on the back step with Addy in his arms. He smiled, love and concern etched in his face. Brushing the grime from her hands she smiled back, "Home is where the heart is, right?"
Wilson held out his hand to her and she grasped it tightly.
|image courtesy of lynnsta (via Flickr Creative Commons)|
Linking up with Write at the Merge this week - inspired by the picture above. Word limit: 500.