This is my sisters room. The carpet is blue.

I picked the room closest to the stairs, with access to the attic. But I’m jealous of her two closets and copious sunshine. I don’t want to want my room and her room too. But I do.

I scale the back of the house. I find my footholds. Balance on the handrail of the back steps. I stretch upon its highest point, one foot on the back door,  while I curl my fingertips around the airing porch rim.  I pull myself up from a dead weight, over the railing, through my sisters window. Startling her, again. I clamor over her, onto the carpet.

My sisters carpet is blue.

“moms in the shower, hurry”

I creep down the hall. Slink under my covers. Cover my mouth with a pillow to hide my alcohol breath. Hear the shower turn off. My mother is pissed, asking why I’m not home yet. My sister covering for me again. “She is home, shes in bed”. I can feel my mothers anger. She does not open my door.

I’m sitting on the floor, winding the phone cord around my wrist. Consider winding it around my neck. In my flannel shirt and ivory veil. We argue into the phone. “can we not fight on our wedding day please?” My appeal. We slam down our phones. I cry. Trying not to ruin my mascara. Watching my tears drip.

My sisters carpet is blue.

My parents now use this back bedroom. It’s been vacated by my sister for two decades. The carpet has been pulled up and the hardwood floor is oak.

One closet holds the computer. One closet holds my mothers chair. And books.

My mother lies in bed, with her morphine drip. We are sorting the pictures for her funeral. I’m in charge of making the video. She’s picking out her favorites. We laugh. We pretend we have said all we need to say. I keep trying to force the words out. “mom i’m sorry”. They don’t come. I keep waiting for her to force out the words “Heath, I’m sorry”.

They don’t come.

We know it’s close to the end. Soon she will need to go to hospice. We will know when it’s time. She will become less responsive. She won’t be able to function through the morphine haze.

It’s time to go home. I get her a water before I go. I put the pictures in piles. I don’t know this is the last conversation we will have.

I only notice as i leave. My mothers toes are blue.


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