Upon Coming Home, 2 Weeks Later

The house looks tired from waiting for our arrival. In our absence, it grew new inhabitants: the shadows on unopened windows hanging like forgotten jackets, or the small army of mold taking over the couch and shelves. The dust on the floor tickle the soles of our feet.

And yet the house is the same house. The same walls and doors and colors. There is an empty glass on the table exactly where I left it. The pen I used to leave my number with our neighbor was there right beside it.

Only when we entered the house did things exhale, as if they've been holding their breaths all this time.

We clean everything before we unpack our lives back into the house. The mold must go. The dust, swept. Soon, a day had passed, and we are rewarded handsomely with the comfort of sleeping on our own bed.

Outside, in the plant boxes by the gate, avocado seedlings have sprouted. When I discover them in the morning, a room in my heart lights up, as if the person who lived there had finally come home.