The Visitor

Ding dong.

Evelyn heard the sound and out of habit, she set down her cup of coffee on the kitchen table and walked to the front door. She could see a woman smiling and waving hello through the window panes along side the door. Evelyn mimicked the actions by waving her hand and smiling. Automatically, Evelyn pulled open the door and the woman said, “Hi, Evelyn. I’m so glad you are home. I brought pictures to show you from Anne’s graduation.”

Evelyn heard this woman call her by name and she was smiling. She must be my friend or maybe a friend of Michelle’s, she thought. She tried to explain how Michelle was out and that Michael was downstairs. But the only words voiced were, “Michelle…Michelle…out” in a stuttered manner.

The smiling woman, holding a small photo album in her hand said, “That’s okay. I came to show you my pictures from Anne’s graduation from UVA” and she started walking toward the kitchen. Evelyn followed this lady who seemed to know her way around her home.

They sat next to each other on the kitchen island stools and the lady showed her photo after photo of people posing. One was wearing a black robe and the lady called her Anne. “Isn’t Anne a happy UVA graduate!”

“Happy,” Evelyn parroted.

Evelyn pulled the photo album closer to her face. She studied each photo a second time, trying to understand, trying to recognize the people. “UVA,” she said aloud.

“Yep, just like your Michelle, my Anne’s a UVA graduate!” The woman said proudly.

Just then the sound of the front door opening could be heard. “I’m back,” a voice called. Into the kitchen walked Michelle, Evelyn’s daughter.

“Sally, it’s so good to see you.”

“I came to show your mom the pictures from Anne’s graduation.”

“Oh, let me see,” and Evelyn handed the photo album to her daughter.

Evelyn thought, “Sally…she must  be a friend. I wish I could remember. How come everyone around me remembers and I can’t? How come everyone around me can talk easily and I can’t?”

Evelyn folded her hands tightly and looked from Michelle to the woman and smiled.

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13 thoughts on “The Visitor

  1. Melanie says:

    What a poignant story…I love the way you captured Evelyn's confusion and desire to make sense of what's happening. I hope everything works out for your friend.
    Also…Wahoowa. My daughter's a Fourth Year at UVA.

    Like

  2. Melanie says:

    What a poignant story…I love the way you captured Evelyn's confusion and desire to make sense of what's happening. I hope everything works out for your friend.
    Also…Wahoowa. My daughter's a Fourth Year at UVA.

    Like

  3. Fran says:

    Sally,
    I love that you waited to tell the relationship between Michelle and Evelyn until both were actually IN the story. And yes, the last line – sheer poetry! Love your writing!

    Like

  4. Fran says:

    Sally,
    I love that you waited to tell the relationship between Michelle and Evelyn until both were actually IN the story. And yes, the last line – sheer poetry! Love your writing!

    Like

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