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  • Elizabeth Marie

Downsizing- A Short Story

Rosalie could envision lush lavender bushes and trees of white roses lining the stone pathway that led around the cozy home, the garden filled with flowers and native grasses. Not a weed in sight. She would savor elegant cocktails as she took in the view of rolling hills and the glimpse of the nearby river from the large wooden deck.

The black cat Claude, jumped up onto her lap, fracturing her reverie. He could ignore the footprints he dotted around the floor from the expanse of mud that remained outside. Presently, it was as if a giant had haphazardly placed handfuls of dirt that obscured the horizon with the infestation of weeds that grew each day with the autumn rain.

Her eyes moved from pile to pile; clothes, dishes, papers. The mess was why he left, he’d said; he couldn’t take it anymore. Was it all up to her? It had been their dream together, downsizing, clearing out the clutter, the memories of the children now stacked in boxes in a corner of the garage where she now sat. She thought it was the leggy blond that hung on his every word at his now-established law firm. Couldn’t he get a sports car, a motorcycle? Now it was up to her, this lifestyle project. Life sentence more likely. Letting the cat down to the floor, she navigated her feet into her long gumboots, went outside, and stood where the house would be built. She picked a rosemary leaf from one of the few pots she had planted. Inhaling the fragrance, memories rose of her children dancing under sprinklers and of roast lamb.

She would create her new home on her own. Her grandchildren, yet to be thought of, would dance and play in this garden.

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