A gusty summer wind blew a leaf off the seesaw in the playground across the street.
It caught Shelly’s attention. The leaf fell on a sand box. A sand box that had not been touched in quite a while. She could tell. The sand had turned to dust with the absence of a child’s presence on it.
Shelly reached her arm to massage her neck. That pain she felt so often had returned with vengeance.
She massaged it until she felt even more pain. It calmed her a bit. Odd as she was, pain had a tendency to be comforting at times like this.
Returning her gaze towards the sand box, Shelly noticed a blue bucket. In it, a yellow spoon.
It was abandoned. She thought. Someone must miss that bucket, she thought.
Before another thought could enter Shelly's mind, the tears started coming. They came fast, and heavy.
Shelly knew there was nothing she could do but let them come.
An ice cream truck drove by, bringing shame along with it, so shelly covered her face and entered the house. She fell down to the ground, and let the tears roll down her cheeks. She listened as the ice cream truck drove away, and with it, its child-like melody. And then... it was gone. Shelly could no longer hear anything but the sound of the wind, and the sound of her beating heart.
She leaped back to her feet, slammed the door open, and headed straight towards the playground.
She will save that bucket. She thought.
It will no longer be alone. It will not be abandoned. she thought.
Shelly put her knees down on the sand. It messed up her yellow dress, but it didn't matter to her at all.
In fact, the softness of the sand felt good around her bruises.
With her hand shaking a bit, partly with excitement, and partly with dread, Shelly picked up the blue bucket. Tiny pieces of sand, mixed in with dust, flew behind, as she stood up and walked towards the house.
As if carried by the determined wind, Shelly entered the house, and fell back to her favorite spot on the ground. Holding on to the bucket, she hugged it tighter than anyone she had ever hugged before.
It was bobby, at that moment. It was bobby.
She knew it, and the bucket knew it.
As it was getting filled by her tears.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman