A flash of grey crossed her vision through the window. “Pesky squirrels,” she thought. Sophie took a sip of her coffee and pondered the garden. Although the bare limbs of the cherry tree allowed more light, the garden was a tumult of greens and browns growing in the shadow of her building. She tasted the promise of spring. The sun was inching higher on its winter southern path from east to west, and now cast its rays on the northern border of her yard. The bench sitting on the bricks was bathed in warmth in the mornings. If she timed it right, she could catch a moment of full sun on her face.
But this morning she didn’t move from her perch at the kitchen table. She felt tired and heavy. She had tossed and turned through the night, reaching for warmth in the daze of half-sleep and reliving again the hard truth of the moment. His absence was a black hole in her groin, defined by all the space he occupied in the house. And in the garden. She had to be careful. Some days she sat for hours, staring out the window, seeing him in every fern and tree. Listening to the click of the hand on the clock as it circled the numbers. Click, click, click. The silence blasted in her head.
Her eye caught the squirrel running along the fence, its bushy tail flying behind its sleek rodent body. it stopped and sat for a moment, watchful. Sophie rose from the table and rinsed her cup in the sink. She hoisted the shadow of his death onto her shoulders and went on about her day.