The blue carpet seemed a little grayer against his loaders, and the kitchen a little further than he remembered. His face fell into shadow – the silhouette from the setting sun outside the window seemed all too hopeful that evening.
His eyes dropped to the unfinished crossword puzzle sitting on the side-table. She would have known 17-across.
He pressed his sun-spotted hands into his forehead, moving his wire-framed glasses onto the top of his head. Even a little blurry, the embroidered pillow on the other armchair sent him into a melancholy smile.
“I’d rather be golfing.”
She never did get around to trying golf.
The apartment was immaculate, mostly because he had started to get rid of things. Ironically everything he had fought to keep all those years stopped seeming liked they belonged if she wasn’t there to whine about them.
It wasn’t as if he hadn’t known it was possible to lose her. The diagnosis last spring had called for some reality checks. But he didn’t even know what the rhythm of his breath was without her.
It was little things, like making coffee for two this morning, or looking for spare sheets and finding spillover from her shoe collection, that sent him into the armchair at night. Just for the night. To be alone with his thoughts of her. To let the remnants of her scent from her favorite chair rub off onto his sweater. The one she bought for him for Christmas last year.
It seemed a little grayer, too.