“Go,” she whispered, unable to give any weight of conviction to the word. He stared at her, his eyes searching for the truth in the single instruction she had spoken.
“Go,” she said again, still in that same whispered breath, but her eyes telling him all that he needed to know. He rose to his feet, his hand still clutching hers. He nodded as he released her; unable to say what he knew she could not bear to hear, before turning quickly on his heels and disappearing into the unknown.
She regarded his sad face and couldn’t help but laugh. He looked pitiful; standing with only one shoe, tears falling for the one that lay abandoned beside him. “Bad mother,” she scolded herself, but it did nothing to abate the chuckling that escaped her. She knelt down, carefully guiding his foot into the discarded shoe and fastening the velcro tightly. Entirely clothed once more, his tears no more than a sniffle, he beamed at her. She kissed his forehead, wiped the dribble that had escaped his nose and knew she couldn’t love him more than she did in this moment.
For a short while I see the old house as it was. Freshly painted walls, swing seat on the veranda, the old tyre hanging from the oak tree. But it’s soon swallowed by time, the mist rolling back. It’s older now, a sold sign swings from the porch. I stand in the passage, dust motes dancing at the bottom of the stairs. I remember you standing there with a hole in your t-shirt. I stick my finger in it and tickle your tummy. I can’t help but cry, this house soon becoming just a hole where we once lived.