By LING LIN
“If someone has to bear the loneliness, let it be me.”
“Say goodbye to Grandma.” The dad patted his 2-year-old son on the shoulder.
The boy turned towards the opened door.
“Okay… thanks, Mom.” The man led his son outside and closed the door lightly.
Beep beep. The clock came back to life and repeated the same 2 syllables, now the only sound in the house.
The house, again, became hers alone.
She waited still, cross-armed, until she heard the car pull away, and then began to clean up the toys spread around the sitting room.
“Please give me a cookie!” A toy spoke up. As if she heard nothing, she continued to pick up stuffed animals and gather them in a blanket.
“Don’t forget to give me a cookie later!” The joyful voice made the quietness that followed even more chilling.
She looked around the room that no longer left traces of a child’s presence, and sighed for reasons only she herself knew.
She rubbed her eyes and hobbled to the sofa.
The sun was approaching the horizon, and its golden light streamed through the curtain and crafted out the silhouette of a woman holding a newspaper against the wall.
She soaked in the silence, letting it pervade her heart bit by bit, waiting until the dad dropped his son off in her house again next Thursday.