by Amanda V. Wagner
Echoes traveled through the rooms bouncing off white marble tile, whistling through chandeliers, swinging off of banisters and circling columns. Glass tapped the granite counter his bottle was empty like the house, and the man, and his wife. She was once married to a man who took her furniture. Now she was married to a man who had none. He had a brick mansion with a tennis court, and a pool, and a room for ballet, and guest rooms, and balconies for those guest rooms, but no furniture. It was empty like the bottle on the granite counter, like the man the bottle belonged to, like the woman who belonged to the man, empty.
I could hear them yelling behind the door, only wood separated us. Dad warned me, but never did I anticipate such a roar. With one breath, with a tight inhale I turned that knob. With a firm squeeze, my carpometacarpal engaged, with my metacarpals craving the embrace of that copper sphere; I opened it. Calamity filled the space; red faces targeted me â€œDid you know about this?â€ Not a moment for a haw darts sliced through the air. Pinned against the wall I wailed. Please I said Iâ€™m not the one at fault. Sure he was a fraud, sure he was a snake, and sure now he was a thief, but he was also a beggar condemned to crawl. My father stole some furniture while my mother was away, and I couldnâ€™t stop him, but I donâ€™t know if I would have if I could. She blamed me and that was the night I left home and never went back. I was thirteen. That was the night I learned that home was where your heart is. Enclosed in the pericardium sac in the vertebral column, at the bottom of the sternum behind muscles, behind bones, behind all three layers of skin, epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. Thatâ€™s where home is.