San Francisco

By
I wake of to find the smell of fresh flowers and the exhaust from an old car consuming every aspect of my nasal cavity. I pull my arms over my head for a long stretch and squeal a good morning from my throat. The satin sheets run off my clean shaven legs as I twist and turn to escape from my hot bed. Another morning I wake up to a quiet apartment with a sleepy fat car purring in the midst of her dreams. I drag my heavy feet to the cold kitchen tile, and flip the switch of the coffee pot to a red orange glow. I wait. Waiting, I pull out the pale pink mug my dad had given me the day I left. It proudly exclaims “CINCINNATI” across the belly of the round mug. I received it the same day my dad had reluctantly driven me to the airport for our final goodbyes. The words still reverberate in my ears; “just stay.” I slipped on a silky shirt over my bony shoulder blades I had inherited from him and stopped to watch as it hit the top of my deep blue jeans; a perfect match. As if it were a puzzle I had just completed, the final piece. Distraction had been my panacea for the past 11 months. Eleven months was approaching on my calendar since I had last seen mom, dad, Leah and Lindsey. I had imagined their absence was due to resentment of me moving away. Excuses would arise at any occasion preventing them to travel. Joey, my youngest brother, who was now a strong “man” with prominent arms and a tall, handsome stance, had come to visit me twice since I had lived in San Francisco. Each time the manly figure escaped from the plane, the shadow remained, but the figure I saw was still the little 12 year old best friend I had confided in years ago. A sense of nostalgia runs over my body and adds a warm, prickly feeling as the goose bumps on my forearms raise the shiny blonde hair. San Francisco was now my home away from home. The bubbly farm girl I once was, had become so much more. I refilled my coffee cup with a steamy, hazelnut brown liquid and added the creamer my mom and I had added so many mornings before, sitting at the kitchen table in our matching robes handed down from Grandma Jeanne. I gaze at the terrycloth material as it lies sagging on the tan wicker chair, absorbing the sunlight and warm thighs resting for a short moment. Wrenched from my day dreams, a piercing buzz signal snaps at my ears. The doorbell had pinched me back into reality. He was here. Oliver had come over every morning for the past 9 months, since the start of our relationship. I pressed my ring finger against the creamy yellow button, allowing his entrance into my building. A crooked smile came across my fresh porcelain cheeks and I awaited his arrival. Two knocks and a twist of a handle, he was here. I was there, in his arms, my distraction. A tall, sturdy, handsome man stood there smiling as I silently approached him. Like a small present, I stay wrapped up in his arms until the soft silence was broken by the sigh of relief he expels to see me. I can’t help but to wonder what would have happened if I had never moved here. I want home. Real home. The stubborn, reluctant side I had received from my mom was present and I couldn’t move past it. I managed to bring my parents with me, wherever I moved. No matter how far. The truth was, I didn’t mind. The independent, never home sick, business woman had fallen. I was a little girl at a never ending sleep over. I dialed the number I had known my entire life. The phone was answered, and a warm voice spoke the words that broke me, “Hello to my Jen Jen.”





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