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to stop now. I walk inside and find two more doors. The one on the right is open with stairs going up, so I follow them. Each step creaks with a familiar groan that I anticipate before it happens. At the top of the stairs I try my key again. The door opens to a converted attic/studio apartment. It’s dark and musty with wood floors. The ceiling slants to a point making me feel claustrophobic. Against one wall is a bed. It’s the bed I had when I was a child. I thought I got rid of it a few years ago, when Iris and I needed something new. The sheets are unmade, and smell of use. Across from the bed is a dresser with a TV on top. Both are mine. Both, like the bed, I thought I got rid of years ago. A pile of folded clothes is on the dresser, and when I look closer I realize they are old baby clothes my mother used to dress me in. What are they doing here? On a side table, next to the bed, I find a framed picture of a woman I’ve never seen before in my life. She is beautiful and blowing the camera a kiss. She has short dark hair, a nose ring, and the two happiest eyes I’ve ever seen. Next to the frame is a wristwatch with a leather band. I’ve been looking for it since I was a boy. Thought I’d lost it. What is going on? As depressing as the apartment might seem, it has an air of joy to it. Like the people who live here love each other so much, it’s been absorbed by the walls. Suddenly the door opens behind me and in walks the woman in the photo. She’s sporting an old worn black hoodie and a ribbed white undershirt. She is carrying two handfuls of plastic bags. Her face is stunning; beautiful in the way that is unassuming and calming. When she smiles at me, something inside goes off, like an explosion of euphoria. She is wearing baggy clothes, but I distinctly see a tiny bulge in her belly. She’s not fat; she has too slender a frame for that. She must be pregnant. I feel a tickle in my throat again and I begin to cough.

Page 24 | The Paragon Journal

Profile for The Paragon Press

The Paragon Journal - Issue Ten  

The Paragon Journal is an online literary journal that specializes in helping younger authors find their way in the literary world.

The Paragon Journal - Issue Ten  

The Paragon Journal is an online literary journal that specializes in helping younger authors find their way in the literary world.

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