No Goodbyes

by Kim Conklin

She arrives early. The movers are there. The truck is already packed.

He sits on the porch, smoking and talking with the movers. Where are you going? he asks them. 

They only know the city.

She walks through the house she'd bought for them years ago. The filth and the stench of mould nearly make her retch. Dead fleas line the windowsills, the dressers, the floors. 

The dog, her dog, is nowhere to be found.

In the walled garden, a shaft of sunlight illuminates the young rosebush at the base of the birdbath. It glows a cheery pink. They are the first roses to have survived a winter.

The sight is beautiful.

He watches from the porch as she follows the truck out of the driveway.