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The Dusty Room (Part 9)
When Heather pulled her Mustang into the driveway of her mansion-like house later that day, her heart raced. Not a good, butterfly flying, crush-seeing heart race, but a scared, sinking heart race. There was a for sale sign in the grassy green law, plunging into the earth like a birds talon’s into its prey.
Quickly, she opened her car door, and rushed to the front door, finding herself flinging it open, listening as it banged against the wall it hit next. Wild-eyed, she looked up to see her mother and a business like lady sitting at the front table. There were papers spread out, turning the table from a dark brown, to an extremely scattered white. Her mother had her fingers raised to her temple, sighing in the confusion of debt.
Heather felt “the lump” form in the back of her throat. The lump that had appeared everyday since her father’s death, she was about to cry. Calmly, she walked to the steps, but then she left her cool at the bottom as she ran up the flight of stairs.
She paused at the door of her room, and then decided to go down a few more rooms, and entered her dancing room. She could see another thin layer of dust had formed across the floor since she had been in there last. She sat down on the bench belonging to the piano, and crossed her arms over her chest. She felt lonely. If she moved, she knew they would move far, far away. They would no longer be in this city, she would no longer go to the same school, and she would no longer be able to see Josh. She could feel her eyes getting moist, but when she lifted a finger to her cheek, there was no liquid that ran down her face. She brought her finger up a little more, and wiped at the salty moisture that was brimming on her lower waterline.
Today, the tears would not come as fast and big as they had in the previous days. She was all dried up. There was nothing left in her. The only emotion she wanted to have in her heart now was…peaceful. She wanted to feel peaceful. If she could have just that, she would be happy.
After sitting in her old dancing room for about an hour, she went to her own room. Her mother had yet to talk to her, but she knew that talk would be coming soon.
Hesitantly, Heather picked up her cell phone and dialed Josh’s number. After about three rings, he answered. His voice was rough, yet sensitive, and Heather felt the urge to hang up just so she could recall and hear his greeting again. Over and over.
“Hey…Josh,” Heather began.
“Yeah?” It didn’t sound rude, it sounded genuine and concerned. A simple word made the big lump return to Heather’s throat.
“I’m moving. And I don’t know when. I just know I won’t be here anymore,” Heather sounded cold, untouched, which she was because she didn’t want to be ripped from her childhood home. She didn’t want to be removed from the house that contained the one happy place she shared with her dad. But she knew she had to get used to it. She knew it had to be this way. Her mother was an irresponsible, inconsiderate woman who had probably already blown through half of Heather’s inheritance, and probably go through the next half to buy a new wardrobe.
“What?” Heather felt like she wasn’t there anymore. The hurt in his voice pained her. He was concerned for her…and for himself.
“Yeah. I don’t know when. And I don’t know. I just got home and there was a for sale sign in the yard. And, and, and I don’t want to move,” by the end of the sentence Heather was sobbing. Childish, insignificant sobs, but Josh wanted to comfort her. He wished he could drive over to her house and give her a hug.
“Hey, can you meet me at the park?” Josh asked. It wasn’t what Heather was expecting, but she was glad he brought it up.
“Sure, 20 minutes. Okay?”
“Bye, Josh,” Heather said. The good-bye felt more final than just ending a phone conversation.