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Holiday

      New Year’s resolutions are stupid. If you’re going to do something just do it. That’s Jays philosophy. Rain pours against the window as a crack of lightning lights up the sky. He sighs dropping his book onto his lap, tired of reading the same page over and over. He really should finish cleaning up the attic, it’s as good as a time as any, but every time he starts, he’s reminded of all the things Kat will never finish.

     It’s been three years since she died, yet he still hasn't done it, couldn't after he found her new year resolutions. They were simple things, drink more water, spend more time with family, clean the house. Simple, but things she would never accomplish.

     Jay stands, tossing the book to the end of the bed, the picture of him and Kat at the Niagara Falls falling out. He leaves it and he walks out of his bedroom. He stops next to a closet and digs through piles of towels and sheets looking for a lantern. He’d rather not be stuck without a light if the power goes out. Chewing on his lip he looks around. He knows it’s in here somewhere, only where? He turns to look on the shelves to the side. The lantern hits him in the face and falls off it’s hook. Ah, found it. Jay rubs his nose as he bends down to pick it up. After checking to make sure it still works, he closes the closet door and continues to the attic. The stairs squeak under his weight as he climbs up them. He pushes on the door only for it to stick. Leaning against it, he twists the knob again. He stumbles through as it swings open.

He sets the lantern on the floor and looks around the small room. Kat’s workroom, as she called it. Jay’s lip twitches up. She spent hours in here crafting things out of ordinary objects. Lighting reflects outside the stain glass widow.

     From the ceiling hangs a chandler made entirely of colored-glass bottles and fishing line. A roll top desk, still covered in papers with scribbles and sketches, sits against the far wall next to the widow. To the other side of the window is an easel. Boxes are stacked against the other walls, full of odds and ends Kat collected for this project or that, never to be used now. He sits in the leather chair and starts sorting through the papers. Kat had the habit of never using journals, instead she wrote on whatever was at hand, usually paper that already had a weeks’ worth of notes on it. Jay smiles. She liked using his arm too.

     Thunder cracks, startling Jay from his memories. That sounded close. See, he knew he’d need that lantern. He stands and carefully makes his way to where he left it by the door, using the flashes from the lightning to make sure he doesn’t trip over anything. Jay picks the lantern up and twists the knob on the bottom. A bright glow illuminates around him. That’s better. He takes it back to the desk and starts going through the papers.

     Once the papers are sorted into piles, he starts with the boxes, deciding that the rest of desk can wait. Finding that the box is full of colored glass he sets it aside. He has no use for it. Another box is full of papers. He pushes that one to the side to go through with the rest of the papers. He finds three more boxes of papers, old art supplies, broken Christmas ornaments, fabric, candles, and even clocks in more pieces then the numbers on the clocks. Kat kept everything.

     Jay hesitates before going through the papers. It feels too personal, like going through her journal. Actually, it is like going through her journal. He starts putting the papers from the desk into a box to set aside with the others.

     A gust of wind bangs the window open and scatters papers off the desk and across the room. Jay scrambles to the window where wind and rain greet him. He grabs on side then the other and closes them, slipping the latch in place to keep them closed. He sighs, turning around to look at the new mess. It’s not as bad as he feared, most are still on or around the desk. Quietly, he gathers the papers up and puts them in a box with the others. Instead of going through the papers he opens the top drawer in the desk.

      Dried flower petals. Jay smiles, tears starting to well in his eyes. He remembers these. She showed them to him once, the petals from all the flowers anyone ever gave her. He opens the next. Pens and pencils. He grabs a blank sheet of paper to test to see if any still work, throwing any that don’t and putting the rest in the donations box.

The next is stuffed with years worth of bucket lists and New Year’s resolutions. He flips through them, earning a paper cut. Most everything is crossed off. He pulls them out and starts a new box of papers. Maybe he’ll just close the boxes up and leave them for another day.

     Sucking on his finger, Jay opens the last drawer. It’s small but what’s in it fits perfectly. Gently he scoops up the pair of large, round glasses. Pastel flowers decorate the arms and the chain dangling from them. So this is where they’ve been hidden away. He rubs his fingers over the gold frame. She was never without them, virtually blind without them. Jay sets them back in the drawer. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small, black box and crumpled paper. He smoothes it out on the table, reading the list as he does so, then leaves it on top the pile of other lists. He opens the box with a soft pop, a silver band with a single diamond sits tucked into it. He closes it with a snap and puts it with the glasses.

     New years resolutions are stupid. If you’re going to do something just do it.

January 23, 2020 20:04

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1 comment

Lee Kull
20:59 Jan 31, 2020

Great ending. This story has a lot of potential! I would love to hear more, though, especially about what happened to Kat, and why she was without her glasses when she died. I am an editor, and I found some errors that I thought you might want to know about. :-) Under the errors, I put my corrections. That’s Jays philosophy. That’s Jay's philosophy. He sighs dropping his book He sighs, dropping his book it’s as good as a time as any it’s as good a time as any he found her new year resolutions. he found her New Year's resolutions...

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