She slumped into a chair at the drop-leaf table and gazed around the kitchen, at the vintage Magic Chef stove she’d begged Thomas for, a replacement to the avocado double-ovens his grandparents had installed in the 1970’s. She’d loved how the hulking appliance conjured up images of aprons and long simmered stews, how its warming drawers heated the room in the winter; how it fit so well it was almost as if the room had been built around it.
She gazed at the soapstone sink, the pot from the tomato soup she’d eaten. Yesterday? The day before? — took in the corner cupboard, the drifting cobwebs floating above the slate floor. Around her, the house ticked and sighed and shifted, the home she’d tended to for years, surrounding her like an empty casing, a walnut shell, its hollows and paper membranes sculpting a memory of all that had once been there, all that once was.