Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Nicola is laying out the strips of macaroni dough, one by one, to dry. Pavarotti sings Madame Butterfly and the leaves outside this window quiver in sync with his vibrato.

Nicola puts fresh leaves of mint into her pitcher of iced tea, and passes through the screen door into the garden. She places the pitcher on a hot black table so that it can drink the sun.

Nicola finds the small of her back and pulls loose the bow of her yellow apron. She washes and dries her hands. She dips her fingers into the bowl by the sink and grasps the two wedding bands. They slide on with ease. The big one has been falling off lately.

Nicola has company coming in five hours and is not sure she is ready yet. It has been years, but she might not be ready yet.

She glimpses a spot on the china and removes the rings once more. When she finishes washing the teapot the phone rings, and then the laundry buzzer sounds, and then she must shower. The rings are left forgotten in the bowl and when she returns to the kitchen she will accidently knock them into the sink where they will roll a half circle and into the drain.

Nicola will put her face in her hands and sink to the floor and the doorbell will ring.


  1. This literally made me burst into tears. It's because the story content itself touches a chord in me but also because it's so beautifully written that I was completely with her and in her. So it had me sinking to the floor alongside her at the end.

  2. So poignant. You have a gift for saying so much more than the words that are written.

    I look forward to every story.

  3. This is one that has to go into the book.It is like climbing a mountain with a steep incline. It takes your breath away and then leaves you wondering at the summit.

    Few writers have this kind of talent Sheila. I am learning so so much from you.