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Confetti is everywhere. I kick a clump of the paper pieces lamely with my left big toe, causing a mini reenactment of their initial explosion in the living room. Fluttering down from the accelerating ceiling fan and settling into the cracks of the couch and behind picture frames on the shelves, they had looked like a colorful blizzard. I lean back into the couch cushions, blinking and shaking my head. My bangs are getting too long; they keep stabbing at my eyes like the spears of tiny savages. I reach my hand up and pull them back from my forehead. I would normally trim them myself, but the scissors have been confiscated, along with everything else that is slightly sharp or pointy. Because of her, we all have to make sacrifices. We all have to suffer in small ways. Even on a day like today. Especially on a day like today.

I’m older now, and although I’m always getting older, every single second of every single day, I can suddenly feel it like never before. I can feel it in the buzzing silence of this messy, confetti-filled room. I can feel it in my lazy bones that sink into these cushions. I can feel it in the framed Christmas picture on the shelf, where her gorgeous eyes don’t smile along with the rest of us. I can feel it in my forehead, now bare and exposed to the elements. I can feel it in my heavy hand that flops back into my lap, and in my bangs that, for an instant, stand straight up on end before slowly bending and flexing and pole-vaulting themselves back down into my eyes. I can feel it in everything.
They all left so quickly and with such a great deal of noise that it made the aftermath twice as silent-sounding. I stand up to get some water, but change my mind and flop back down. I feel like an intruder in this room; like the furniture wants to have a secret meeting and they’re just waiting for me to leave. But every room I enter is another room I’ve proved no one else is in, and I don’t want to feel that alone. I want my brain to be tricked into thinking they’re all still here.
I look back at the Christmas picture. Her hair is angelic; her nose and lips are perfection. But her eyes…we should have seen it in her eyes; I know I can see it now. A piece of confetti falls gently from the top of the frame and floats to the carpet, where it joins the other scattered pieces in their disarray. I stare.
It’s funny to think that something so pretty can become such a mess.



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