Not Here


Blinked my eyes. OM! It’s 6 o’clock in the morning. Half slipping, half skipping, I escaped the wraparound sheets.

Still in shock that I missed my out-of-tune alarm clock. Took out a couple of eggs from the rack and the honey-cured bacon from the freezer. Remember, no burnt sides on the sunny side up and crispy bacon strips with two slices of wheat bread. Filled the glass with chilled fresh milk. Set the table with all the trimmings and pulled the drapes to let in just enough sunlight.

Went up the stairs, quickly but quietly, so as not to wake you up out of time. Where, oh, where did you put the Herschel I bought for Christmas? Maybe you have it in your room, took out your books for last-minute readings before turning in.

Went down again. Checked the bathroom buddies. There, just as where they should be.

Checked the small clock by the kitchen table. It is almost seven and I worry you will miss the school service. I called out at the foot of the stairs to make sure you hear me. Then, I went to the back of the house to load the machine. When the laundry is bubbling, I start to gather all the leaves gone dry. Then, I notice the time. Sort of.

Went back inside and checked the table. Milk glass perspiring, grease setting on the plate bed. I frown. Checked the bath, dry, only the warm sunlight basking in. Ran up and down the hallway. What’s wrong?

Slumping just by the door, staring at nothing. No…no tears…no tears. Get it in your head! He is far from you. Far, far, so far away. He is with his dad. Maybe with a new family. Maybe in his new school. Maybe with friends in the mall. Maybe somewhere having fun. But not here. Just not here.


If you liked Not Here, please check our previous works of Ma. Susana Isla-Arcan here in The Ugly Writers:

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