Today we went to the east side of the state and got Z’s car. Then we stopped by the sheriff’s office to collect her mobile phone.
They wouldn’t release any of her clothes or other inconsequential items because they have moved to “evidence”. Those things will spend the rest of my life in a bag, in a box, on a shelf, in a basement. They will be forgotten by everyone. Even me, eventually. They will collect dust and one day – many years from now – they will be unceremoniously destroyed. Her case will have been long closed. Whomever takes them to the incinerator will never know the part of the universe that belonged to her. And the exquisite pain left in the wake of her death.
I followed her car home. S.O. and I went together, he drove it home. It’s parked in our driveway now.
For the past couple of years I loved seeing her car in a driveway. I knew it meant she was home or I was up visiting her. I would get a half-hearted hug and a quick hello before she was off to do something more fun than hang out with me. Teenagers are like that. No time for mom. I knew that. It’s part of growing up. Eventually you circle back around to your mom starting in your mid-twenties. I was looking forward to that. I wanted that future.
Now her car is in my driveway. I’m not coming home to see her. I’m coming home to the nothing where she should be.
Everyday when I leave for work (and when I get home from work) her car will be in the driveway. She will not be on the couch. She will not be making a mess. She will not leave her dirty dishes all over the side tables and her backpack on the floor with important items spilling out. She will not whine when I ask her to pick up her mess.
I emptied her belongings from her car into her room. I went through the things I knew would need to be repatriated to a bathroom. I gave her cosmetics and lotions to her sister. I pulled out her colored pencils and coloring books. I’ve never been one to color but I might give it a try. I might take them up north… maybe I’ll take them up north. I’ll probably take them up north.
Everyone spreads their wings and keeps their lives in compartments. Each part of your life is set aside for a particular audience. As you start keeping things from your parents, your parent also has a right to not know things. A parent looks at their young adult child and knows the benign things they do are fine in life, but doesn’t want to know some of the more racy things. I don’t want to violate her privacy.
Eventually I will have the wherewithal to go through her items and distribute back into the world. Her friends will want some of the things they shared. I’ll give them their part. Some of the things will be passed to my girlfriend’s children or saved for my nieces or donated. I’ll put her formal dresses and graduation robe in a bag and tuck them into a closet. Her diploma will go into a box with other mementos and moments and monuments.
For now, her secrets are still tucked safely away in her bedroom.