© Kurt | Dreamstime Stock Photos
She always did have a way of lingering in a room long after she had left. Now it’s her eyes that hover menacingly in the darkest, furthest corners of the empty bedroom she abandoned. They stare out, emotionless. She’s searching for the baby she couldn’t be bothered with, or maybe the boyfriend she struggled to love. No, she’s not searching for him. She never cared enough to search for him. She’s probably just keeping watch, keeping guard. She always did have the hardest time letting go.
Her eyes stare out from the innocent face of her son, who kicks and thrashes at night when she isn’t there to rock him to sleep. He inherited her eyes and her hair, that soft mahogany, beautiful hair that she had before she bleached it blonde and quit her job and disappeared into the desert for two weeks. He didn’t even recognize her when she wandered back, bruised, bloody and dirty. Nobody who loves her recognized her then.
Her eyes are everywhere. In the blinking clock on the nightstand and the red light on the smoke detector that beeps incessantly when the battery dies. She used to hate that smoke detector. It woke her up in the middle of the night once, battery nearly drained and screaming to be changed. It never stood a chance against her fiery temper and massive hangover. She slammed a shoe against it until it unhinged from the wall then sobbed into her hands for ten minutes when it wouldn’t stop beeping, even as it lay broken on the floor. There’s still a wound on the wall where the paint chipped away from the force of her sneaker.
Her eyes are the lights and her hands are the sheets that wrap her growing son and keep him warm at night.
He will never see it. He will never know the sound of her voice, never know the way she bites her lip when she’s nervous. He will never see her pick at her fingernails and will never hear her sing a song of nothingness when she’s bored. She’s everywhere and nowhere all at once.