Before and After

By TaliaRussell

Original link: https://www.storiesspace.com/stories/micro-fiction/before-and-after.aspx

Tags: life, loss, death, cars, memories

Added: 18 Jul 2015 Views: 926 Avg Score: 5

Within the first week after I took delivery of my new car, I stepped in gum. It got on the carpet. Not on the mat, but on the carpet just beneath the door. I was upset. I got most of it off, but there was still a mark on the light tan carpet. It was a pretty car: diamond white, with a light tan interior. My favorite is white, with a light grey interior, but the last two cars I ended up getting were white with tan. I still thought they were beautiful.

Within two months after I took delivery of my new car, my boyfriend was diagnosed with cancer. In my head, I would go through events occurring after getting my car, and before the cancer: gum, before cancer; Steve and Janey’s daughter’s wedding: before cancer; trip to Ojai for birthday celebration in new car: before cancer.

It’s been two years since I got my car. One year since my boyfriend died. I got tired of seeing that gum mark, so I took a jacknife I keep in the car and scraped at the gum. A little bit more came off.

Just the other day, I sat there, again, this time plucking at the gum with eyebrow tweezers I keep in my purse. That made it better, too. But it is still there. Gum: before cancer.