The closet will be the last of it.
Blake needs to get out of this house, molt the memory of it like a growing reptile. Her boss didn’t make a fuss when she requested a transfer. In under six months, Blake sold her house and found a new place across the country. The last thing to do is pack. She is almost done.
The closet will be the last of it.
She avoided this closet as much as she could. It lies nestled between the bedroom and the laundry, painted white with a crystalline doorknob. She couldn’t bear to have it any farther. The linens were banished to a bin stuffed in her closet. Every day Blake walked by the closet felt like pushing at a bruise. Today feels like ripping the wound in two, fingers pulling the flesh apart, soft like overripe peaches.
Blake winces as she pulls the door open. Stacks of cubed cardboard loom over her. Tulle and faux pearls spill out of the spaces cut out for handles. Nausea pinches at her throat and she chokes down a burp that has lunch close behind it. She rests a trembling hand on one of the lids, leaving a clammy print.
Just get it over with.
Sasha and Hailey, Blake’s sisters, first put these boxes away. Blake, on the other hand, sat in the bedroom and sobbed until her shirt soaked itself stuck against her chest. Sasha would pop in, help Blake change her shirt, and Blake would do it again. The narrow hallway was crowded with movement from Blake’s room, the closet, and the laundry room. Standing in front of the closet now is a game of chance. Blake doesn’t know what she’ll pull out first.
Blake whispers a prayer to whoever’s listening and lifts the lid her hand is imprinted on. There it is, nestled inside next to announcements with her name and a cake topper with two brides. She runs her hand across it. The intricate lace slides across her fingers, white satin soft and bright against her brown skin. Blake feels where the satin hardens, tinted a faded orange that darkens into burgundy. The lace continues until it splits in two. It was cut in half there, right down the chest. Blake’s inhale scratches at the inside of her lungs. She lifts it out of the box, letting it unfold into its full length.
Her name was Mrs. Jamison for eight hours. That is it, that is all. Blake looked forward to that day when she was little. She planned her wedding to the T by the time she was 12, had an extensive collection of bridal magazines, and constantly carried a binder of fabric swatches in her backpack. The first time Blake met Farrah, she knew her 12-year-old self was about to get everything she asked for.
Blake knew from a young age she had impeccable taste for two, but Farrah did not put up a fight on wedding planning. She was easy that way.
“I love you, and you love this stuff. I trust whatever your vision is.”
The vision was executed perfectly. Blake had the pleasure of watching Farrah walk down the aisle in a dress she chose, white satin soft and bright against her brown skin. Blake chooses to remember her like that. Her wife, her beautiful bride, caressed in white just for her. She still wishes things were different. Maybe the reception could have been longer? What if the accident happened on Blake’s side of the car instead? Or, for fuck’s sake, that they pulled Farrah out of the dress instead of cutting it off of her?
Blake blinks back to the present. Farrah’s dress speckles with fat tears. She pulls it close to her chest and sinks to the floor. Blake sits like this, sobbing until the satin soaks itself stuck to her chest.