the red comb.

It's been weeks since my mom died, and Abby had moved in. When she was gone I would sneak into her room to try on our mom’s glasses. They rested on a shelf just inside the door. Heavy and thick. They called to me.

Around the corner I would creep, when Abby was at work, and gingerly pick the glasses up. I cradled them, stretched and fragile from years of wear. Eyes closed, I would press them against my face. They felt cold and heavy, the lenses much thicker than my own. Walking light and timid steps to the mirror, I realized that if I strained hard enough, pulled my hair back away from my face, and looked just the right way - I could see her.

Other times I grabbed her comb. Red, and plastic. Thick. For a few weeks it smelled of her. Of a scent so strong and real. Of hair and Suave, and body and life. Inhaling deeply, lungs expanding to full capacity, I began to feel a sense of calm. Like a drug, I needed more to move forward. I needed the red comb, I needed her old glasses.

Soon though, the scent of my mother began to make me uneasy. Sick almost. It was too real, as though she should be standing there, but wasn't.  Soon it gave me a stomach ache and I had to stop visiting it.