The House -14-

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I heard my son’s steps down on the alley. Then he cleared his throat the way my dad used to. I loved that. When he turned on the stairs, his face lit up seeing me. It was such a sweet feeling since I had to leave from where I stayed knowing that I was unwanted. Hard stuff for someone who is not young anymore.

“I’m glad you settle in.” He chuckled.

“Well, my stuff is still on the floor, but I can say I’m happy here. I’ll put my load away.” He was so generous. I got to catch his hand for a second and squeezed it as he passed by me.

“Thank you.” Tears welled up again.

I let him get in without me being in his way. “How was it?”

“I love the campus. Not to say anything about Cal Fullerton, but UCI is great. I got three classes for the summer and I’m very happy.” He took a semester at Cal Fullerton and didn’t finish.

“That’s great, son. All your hard work will pay off.”

When he turned on the water in the bathroom, the faucet screeched. “Do you need to use the bathroom? ‘Cause  I’m taking a shower.”

“No worries. I’ll be on the porch.”

Moments later somebody was at the trash cans. I saw a tanned arm lifting the lid of one of the bins and dropping a bag inside, a trash bag. I wouldn’t know who that person was if the blinds from the window I was watching wouldn’t flutter. I leaned forward to see if there was anybody in the room. That was when the person from the trash cans appeared in my sight. She was watching that window the same I was.

It was the woman with one earring.

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