out of season

It felt like fear or freedom, watching the fall, the whole way down.  It took just seconds.  The first with a thud.  I probably could have taken it back, then.  Picked it up.  Dusted it off.  Put it away, safe, warm.  But, the second – it shattered on impact and broke the one below.  I hadn’t realized I was holding my breath until my shoulders relaxed and I was grinning at C, thankful she’d had the courage I hadn’t been able to summon for just under three years.

Just like that.  Freedom.

The mugs your mom bought us for our first Christmas, now in the bottom of my kitchen trashcan. I’ve made room for something else.  Sometimes, even empty space is fuller.

With a long released breath, I don’t have to look at us anymore.