--I'LL SEE YOU AROUND
She finds bones in bottom dresser drawers, in shoe boxes perched on the highest closet shelves, gunny sacks stuffed with bones in the truck of her husband’s car where the spare tire should be, bones in a cardboard box marked ALLY’S BABY CLOTHES.
There are bones buried in the backyard garden bed, beneath the rosebushes whose thorns catch on her hair, skin and blouse.
There are bones in the attic, piled in a dusty heap behind stacks of their old year books and photo albums.
Bones in the downstairs bath that smells of formaldehyde.
Bones in the lawn mower bag.
Bones beneath the garage workbench, right next to Ally’s never-used tricycle.
Bones and bones and bones.
It takes her two days, but she collects them all, noticing as she does how their texture and weight is like drift wood, chalky white and brittle after all these years.
In their backyard, she stacks them until they’ve become a small mountain, and after she’s tossed the last one on top, she lets herself remember the horror of hearing about what had happened—her husband drunk, heading out on a liquor run, backing over little Ally.
From prison, each letter said the same thing—pleas for forgiveness and a second chance. He couldn’t make it up to her, but they’d make a new start. He’d be a better husband. He was sober now.
Today is his release. She’d seen the news coverage just an hour ago and knew he’d be arriving any minute. That’s why she doused the bone pile with gasoline, using another gallon on herself, waiting for him to find the note taped to the front door welcoming him home, telling him to meet her in the back yard where he’d get the answers to all of his questions.