The toast feels dry in my hand, in my mouth, as I watch Mary Evans pound the For Sale sign in to the lawn at the end of the drive. I've lost without really knowing why I was fighting. But it could take a long time for someone to buy this little house in this little town.
For about five seconds I wished I had the money--I'd only need enough to buy out Becky. It was laughable--a woman with no job, no savings to speak of. A mortgage? And that's when I had to face the fact that I don't want to stay here forever, or even a decade.
I want this South Bend sky and the rusty animals up the road in Raymond and the real gulls crying and the dank salt brine mud smell and the watery bright sunlight--and I want the ghosts of my mother and, so long ago, my dad, each chair they sat in, each thing they touched. Someone wise would tell me that I'll carry all of that inside me. But I've wanted time to soak it up, to be sure.
Mary turns and smiles as she walks toward the porch.
"We can have an open house this weekend. We don't want to let it sit out here too long," she ventures.
"Do you think it will go quickly?"
Mary fades a shade or two.
"You never know."