Three piles

No shelf for the books, Brighton UK

No shelf for the books, Brighton UK

Writing Prompt No. 106

Three piles of clothing lay on her bed each marked with a label: Throw, Keep, Donate.

This’ll be easy, she thought. I’ve done all this already.

Ellen pulled at the soft linen shirt that topped the Donate pile. She rubbed the fabric between her thumb and forefinger where a small hole was opening up in the material.

A time, three years ago. In Portugal. Nothing else mattered. A sandy beach, the warmth of the sun, messing about in the rough sea.

She folded the shirt back up aware that she was holding it now to her cheek. She placed it back on top of the pile.

I’ll mend the hole. Maybe I should bin it. No, recycle it. Where though? Why do I have so much? Why did he leave it all behind? Ellen’s mind was littered with questions.

The trail to find her husband had run cold two years ago. She couldn’t hang on to all of this. She was moving house. Selling up. Starting life in a new place. A new country where no one will know who she is. Still. The memories of those clothes were woven tight within them. Favourite outfits. Favourite shoes. The terrible green, baggy knee joggers he insisted on wearing every Saturday while laughing every time he saw her face.

Someone else could use them now. All his clothes. Everyone kept telling her to move on. So she was. Moving on.

The insistent knock on the front door rattled through her daydream. It was late. She peered through the spy hole. Through the wide angle of the lens, she saw him. He was back.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? ‘Let it go’ in the comments below.