Bo, Joe & Claire

With everything prepared and Bo gone to school, Bo’s mom, Claire had time to do what she cherishes the most, gardening. Opening her shed looking for the perfect tool to use, she was in euphoria just thinking about the next couple of hours which she planned to spend working on her precious plantations. She bought seedlings from Angelina two blocks down and unlike Angie, had enough sense to keep the dragon-flowers in the shed until they were strong enough. Today was the day. They would be an elegant touch to her front porch. Having lived in this house for only a couple of years, Claire fought blood, sweat and tears to make the place the perfect home. And succeeded. Everything was the way it should be. Being a bit of a perfectionist, she spent numerous hours fixing her garden each day making sure that it lived up to her particularly high standards. On this morning, her schedule had to be changed a bit, something which infuriated her. It was changed because when she opened her shed, she found that her tool of choice for the day, a purple handle hand fork, was damaged from the last time she used it. After inspecting it for several minutes, she labelled it as unusable and was forced to make a detour before she started doing what she loved the most.

Picking the keys up from the mini desk at the foot of the door, she eased her emotions by remembering that after getting her new hand fork, she would return to her beloved deed. The feeling geared her on even in the car so much that her mood switched into a rather happier one. The search for the perfect hand fork was going to take several hours because of her rather picky fashion, her idea of retail therapy after the nearly inconsolable tragedy. No wonder Bo had some obsessive traits; she had taken them from her mother. Those and the paranoia. But how else would she keep him out of her mind?

Claire had been married young to her first husband. The two were high school sweethearts, sown at the hip since their early teens. Claire was taken along on family vacations and he was there when her only sister ran away from home. They got married soon after highschool graduation and built a life together. When he lost a decade long battle to cancer, something inside her died with him. She felt lost. He left her with twins, 5year old boys that were a spitting image of their father. Soon after his passing, the twins followed. Claire was never the same again.

Soil

They say we are all from land

And in the end we shall return there, to land

But what they do say

Is how we get there

Mysteriously

Slowly

Unfortunately

Due

In the end,

to soil we shall return

and soil is

what we shall ultimately become

Years later, she remarried in the hopes of finding the missing pieces of herself. She found a loving man to call her own, to give her 3 beautiful children. But she was bored. With love. With life. Existing had become a tedious chore. If only she had known it would all be over soon.

This last husband left after they lost their first two to a terrible illness. According to stories which neighbours pasted together, the couple found their kids poisoned in their sleep when they woke up the day after Halloween. There was no sign of breaking and entry, with no one knowing what and how the children were poisoned. The pair remained with their youngest and now her only child, Bo. Since leaving his wife and kid a decade ago, Bo’s father’s whereabouts or survival was unknown. Claire was torn apart. After years of numbness she felt pain and anger all over again. She understood grief more than anyone and she had shared her experiences. To walk out was to spit in her face. Claire had always told Bo that her father had died when she was young because she was too young to remember anything or how he looked when he left. It would save her the trouble of filling in blanks she too had no knowledge of. This was many many years from today, but the wound would fester from time. But she hated to think of this, gardening was her only true escape.

Downtown was a tiny homy mall with a gas station, convenience store, an agriculture and hardware store, a couple of old ladies selling nick-nacks and little boys holding boxes of puppies for adoption. It was still astonishing how calm the community was. Claire head into the store, gliding straight to the garden tools. She was a regular. At the till she made out a mustard sweater at the corner of her eye. It couldn’t be. Getting money out of her wallet, she fought the urge to turn around. The cashier looked scared out of his skin and she noticed she was seething. Walking over to the familiar sweater, she pulled back the hood and found a confused Bo holding a pack of sanitary towels. Unbeknownst to Bo, she had taken from her mother. She too fought the urge to look around for her friend. Claire’s mouth fell ajar. Bo’s agape with no words escaping, she couldn’t gauge just how pissed her mother once. Their eyes locking for what seems like eons, mother and daughter were dead in the middle of a silent standoff.

Puppies

Take me home

Feed me

Bathe me

Care for me

Love and cuddle sweetly

For if you don’t see me

You’ll happen upon my face

Somewhere on some terrace

Begging that grace deliver me

Come to take me home

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