Just Empty

There was no mail that day. Nor the day before that. Or, the day before that.

A long streak had occurred, days and weeks, months even years had passed since any letters, advertisements, bills, notices, anything had been placed in the silver box at 2216 Northwest Highway. It was a drought. Had been ever since they left years ago. Packed up the Chevrolet station wagon and headed South. Somewhere in the South.

People said New Orleans while others told tales of em going down to Memphis. They were in search of something; freedom, happiness, blue skies, hard to say. But, they were definitely gone.

They were young too. He worked at the Bakery and she was a shelf stocker at the library. Had plenty of money, no kids, just that old house out on the highway. Thing was falling apart, people said. Said it needed roof work and some t.l.c. on the insides as well. Don’t think they cared; hardly ever home.

Drive by and you’d never see a light on, or a truck in the driveway, or a screen door open on cool Summer nights. Seemed as though it was always empty. Some say, it was haunted. Filled with ghosts from way back. People’s imaginations.

But no. Them two left. Got in that old station wagon and took off. Nobody’s heard from em. They didn’t say a word to anyone. Just left. Neither of em had given a two week notice or said, I quit. No report at the Post office of a change of address. Just disappeared.

Never had coffee with em. Or, got invited over for dinner. Seen em in church a couple of times. He wouldn’t sing. The Lord commands us to make a joyful noise in praise; his mouth never moved. Just stood there while others carried on about their Lord God Jehovah. He passed on communion; never broke bread.

She sang though. Squeaky little voice. Clapping her hands. She’d break that cracker in two and take half of it. Always threw in a ten. Always.

They never became official members. Some said, cause they weren’t married. They was living in sin. Just showed up ever once in awhile. That’s all the religion they needed.

And, so they left. Took off. Furniture left behind. Plates, clothes, old paintings of red barns. Ain’t nobody been in there ever since. Just an empty house. Just empty.

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