It was another morning in the gray weathered house. The kitchen was cold and empty, but there was anxious activity in the back of the house that could be heard. The windows were being wiped down, a bed was being prepared. The best quilt was being laid on the bed. Blue and white quilted butterflies decorated the double bed sized quilt. Gently patterned flowers in blue and purple scattered across the bedskirt. Pillows were fluffed, a robe was set aside on a hook. Everything in room was comfortable looking except for one pair of high heeled black and white sandals.
The sandals were out of place in the rustic space. Everything in the room was there for comfort and hominess. These shows were all about going out and getting attention. There was nothing comforting about the shoes. They made no sense in the space. Decks of cards were placed in a drawer of the dresser by the bed. A well worn green Bible was placed on the top of the bedside table.
A scraping sound grew louder toward the kitchen. Leta appeared, pulling a bent wood rocker toward the empty room. The rocker was sturdy, but low to the ground. Dark wood, worn but not silky smooth like the table. A flowered pillow sat on the seat to be propped against the back later. When Leta got the rocker to the table she leaned on it. She had butterflies in her stomach, she was excited, but yet slightly sick. She hurt, but she was celebrating. It was a big day. The day she had longed for and dreaded for 53 years.
Abby came into the kitchen armed with the task of making a lemon chiffon pie. She wouldn’t make it often, but today was a day for it. She squeezed the lemons and whipped meringue. It kept her slightly shaking hands busy, and gave her something to focus on that was not the open door.
Leta fluttered about all day long. She could not keep still. She felt unprepared for how to deal with this day. Belle and Ellen sat near each other, Elizabeth and Kesiah were on the other side of the table. As unflappable as these women were, their books and handwork saw no progress that day as they all kept watch on the door. Little was said, it was a long day.
Shortly before five o’clock in the evening, Leta walked to the door. She held her hand up to it and found that her hand went through the open space an into the sunshine outside. She started to look back into the kitchen and then stopped herself. She took a deep breath and then stepped into the yard. For a moment, she only enjoyed the sunshine, then she brought herself back to her moment and her task. She closed her eyes and pictured the white, cold room.