Chapter 39 – Harriet

Harriet

Mrs. Chin’s old room

She was there, on the bed, sitting, legs dangling above the floor, not like their bed at home where her feet could easily slide into her waiting slippers.

“What are you doing now?” she asked.

“What?” Jon turned his head. There was no surprise to see her there. It was as it should be, her sitting on the edge, prodding him to get up, get out of bed. It was unusual for him to sleep later than her, but in these past years he often took a pass at rising with the sun.

“You’re such a sleepy head. You promised to make the breakfast today.”

“I was sleeping, dreaming. I didn’t feel good.”

“Well just the same, you need to rise and shine.”

Jon turned his head to look out the window, curtains open, expecting to see the school yard across the street, children at their recess games, or maybe just the empty playground, he couldn’t remember if it was summer vacation for the kids and if there would be any of them there. There was a wide empty field but it was not the schoolyard. It was an open field, he recalled seeing this field recently.

‘Recently,’ he thought. ‘When was recently?’

There had been a boy and his dog and a frisbee.

“Did you see the boy throwing that disk for his dog to fetch?” Jon turned back to Harriet. She wasn’t there. He was not in their bed at home, on a sleepy Sunday morning, under the warm comfort of their duvet. None of their things were there, just the stark sharp corners of a room at The Lodge. She had been gone a long time, but he remembered her sitting there. Her face was clear and bright, her hair already perfectly ready for the day, even the smell of that perfume that made him sneeze, that he complained about, was still in the air. But she wasn’t there. Then he remembered her on the floor, by the kitchen table, serene, resting, ready for the day, but she was gone. As he imagined, as he remembered her there, her face slowly blurred into a thick watery haze until she was featureless. He desperately tried to keep the image of her face, but the more he focused and struggled to hold her image, the more it faded, dissipating like a drop of blood in a rippling pond.

“I should have gone with you,” Jon said as the wet pooled in his eyes and dripped into single rivulets down the side of his face onto the pillow. “Now I can’t even remember what your face looked like; I can’t even see you.”

He turned his gaze out the window again. The field was different. It didn’t look the same as it did from his room. It was not his room, not his bed.

‘Where the heck am I?’

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