Last Day of School
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She switched on the left turn signal and started away from the curb, then looked quickly to her right, past the empty passenger seat, for one final glance at her five children. She slowed just a bit and watched them make their way to the school in the rain. She wanted to get a good look ... one she would remember for a long time.
Jack was the oldest ... he carried a house key now. So much like his father, he always took the lead and the others followed him. He’d be a sophomore next year, varsity basketball. Then there was James and Peter and Mary and all the way down to little Alice – just out of kindergarten and going to 1st grade full time.
She hoped they wouldn’t get too wet, it was raining hard now and only Alice had a raincoat. The others never dressed for the weather – even when she begged them to. She pulled out from the curb and worked her way into the traffic. It was so crowded at the school on rainy days.
She wondered how they would get home. Maybe a neighbor will pick them up. Anyway, she’d be gone by then ... she’d be 400 miles gone by then. Halfway to Cleveland ... somewhere in the middle of Pennsylvania. Far away.
They’ll miss her around five. They’ll be watching television and wondering why supper isn’t on the stove. Fred will be getting home soon and he’ll say, “Where’s your mother,” and the kids will say they don’t know. “Ronnie’s mother drove us home.” Jack will say.
Fred will walk in the kitchen to make himself a drink and he’ll see supper isn’t started ... then he’ll begin to wonder. That’s not like her ... he’ll go upstairs to the bedroom and see my clothes are gone and the two suitcases on the floor of the closet are missing. Then he’ll remember the car was not in the driveway when he got home and he’ll put two and two together and realize I have gone too.
I could have left him a letter or a note, but what’s the good? We both know what happened.
The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.