Glory Be

The lights don’t turn on anymore. And the sink dribbles but doesn’t run. 

I drank all the sodas and crushed all the cans. There was nothing else in the refrigerator. I found a jar of peanut butter in the cupboard. I ate it with my finger. I turn the radio on and keep it on all day and all night because I don’t like the silence. She didn’t like it either. She would hum while she did the dishes, folded the laundry, brushed my hair. 

I pray everyday because Father Anderson said that if you don’t pray then God will make bad things happen. I didn’t used to pray every day. Maybe this is why she doesn’t come home. So now I put the beads of my rosary between my fingers and on the crucifix, I say the Apostle’s Creed, then on the next bead, I say the “Our Father’’ prayer. Then three Hail Marys. Last is the Glory Be. I say this one slowly so that God can hear it and I close my eyes really tight until I see red. 

   Sometimes in the afternoons I pretend that I’m going to church and I put on her white heels and her long dress with little blue cornflowers and rub her lipstick in a circle and take a tissue and kiss it like she used to. I go to the mirror in the front hall and look at myself. People used to say that I looked like her. All the ladies at church would tell me I have her eyes. Green eyes. But hers were lighter than mine.

It is so cold and the stove won’t turn on and the radiator won’t either and I can’t sleep. I count down from ten and when I get to zero I throw off the quilt and run down the hall and into her closet and grab her big grey coat with holes in the pockets. I put it on over my pajamas and then I run into the kitchen and sit on the floor next to the sink. I pretend I am in her arms, the coat is her body. I run my hand over my forehead and through my hair. Over and over, just like she used to so I could sleep. My heart slows again. I pretend God is sitting next to the refrigerator, across from me. He is puffing on a cigarette like the man who came over on the weekends. God has a low voice and a bouncing knee. 

“You okay?” He asks and one of his eyebrows goes up. 

I nod. 

“You miss her don’t you.” Big puff. 

I nod again. 

“She knows you miss her.” God has a lazy eye. 

“Well if she knows that then why doesn’t she come back?” I ask. Little tears come down my cheeks and onto her jacket. I wipe them with the back of my hand. 

“I pray,” I say. 

“I know.” Another puff. He looks at me hard with his good eye. 

“She loves you.” he says. Both eyes look at me and his knee starts jerking crazy. 

“Liar.”

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