Something was off. She could feel it as soon as she closed the door behind her. It was in the silence that hung heavily throughout the house. In the central air current that didn’t really cool her. In the hum of the appliances that seemed to be waiting on something with her. She tried to ignore it as she kicked off her shoes in the front hall. The feeling couldn’t be shaken as easily as she had her shoes. She couldn’t help but look down at the space where her shoes were. What was wrong here? Something was knocking at a door somewhere in her mind. She shook her head. It was fine. She was fine.
She wasn’t sure if that was the truth or she was lying to herself. This was ongoing conversation that seemed to be repeated daily. Whichever it was she was determined to continue to tell herself that until she no longer wondered.
A short while later, Lacey, lay on her couch watching scripted reality shows and trying not to think. These shows made the task easier. Slowly an uneasy rest overtook her.
The sound of the front door slamming shut jarred her out of her slumber. Rushing off the couch to the front door and she finally admitted to herself what had been missing. There he was in all his splendor. With his broad shoulders, his crooked smile and kind eyes. She ran into her husband’s arms.
“Hey, babe. I’m home.”
Looking down at his shoes next to hers on the hall floor and after all the time he’d been on the road it all clicked into place. It wasn’t the house that mattered. It wasn’t any one thing that added up to what had been missing. It was him. It was always him.