By David Henault.
Things in my life were coming to a boil. I had a dead end job with no clear direction in sight. I was drinking a lot to numb the harsh reality that I was finally at a loss and I was chest deep in depression. I knew I was at a turning point in my life but didn’t know which way to go. I could stay on a self destructive path or beat the odds and become something. I just didn’t know how to do it.
With every step, I watched my breath as it exhaled from chapped lips while I made my way up the half snow covered concrete stairs and to the weathered screen door that lead in to her apartment building. At the top of the porch, I looked over my shoulder for the third time just to make sure her beat up blue car was still parked on the street, as if somehow she could slip out and away without my noticing and be gone again.
I pulled the screen door open and turned the knob on the freshly painted wooden interior door. The hallway was dimly lit and musty, reminding me immediately of our basement on Normandy Road where I grew up. The old woman that lived on the first floor opened her door to see what the noise was and shut it again quickly, sheltering herself from the interruption in her day. I made my way up the creaky wooden stairs and stood in front of her apartment, watching for a moment the playful shadows from under the door that were cast by the lamps inside.
I took another breath and knocked quickly on the center of the door with my knuckles, which immediately started to sting from the cold.
I watched as the shadows from under the door stop moving. Silence.
My heart began to sink a little at the thought of missing her again and then out of nowhere, the door swung open.
She immediately smiled a big smile which comforted me and all was suddenly okay.
“Hi Davey!”, my mother said, letting the door to finish swinging open on its own as she walked straight back down the dark hallway in front of me and past three rooms to the bathroom where the light was coming from.
I had never seen her look more beautiful. The soft glow of the lighting behind her made her look soft and young. Her eyes bright, full of life and reminiscent of someone in their mid-
twenties. Her hair was full with bouncy locks styled like those in old yearbook pictures of people you see in the boxes your parents keep in the attic. When she smiled, I felt warm and calm. Safe.