Things Lost

Things Lost

By Wesline Zolfonoon

“Did you hear me?” Elliot asked, his voice interrupting Remi’s thoughts. She pressed the

side of her balled up fist into the condensation she had created on the bus window. “What?” she

asked as she poked little dots just above the stamp she had made.

“I said if you need anything now’s the time to get it before I close this thing,” Elliot was

peering into the overhead bin rifling through the duffel bag they shared.

“No I’m ok.” Remi added one last dot and stared at the footprint she had just made.

“They would have been this size,” she said marveling at the similarities to the sole of a small

foot.

“What?”

“Nothing, sit down I think the bus is about to move.”

Elliot dropped into the seat beside her, his leather jacket squeaking, causing goose

pimples to rise on her arms. The leather was worn and cracked down to the webbing underneath

around his wrists and at the hem. He had purchased it at some specialty store when he was drunk

soon after the miscarriage. Remi wished he hadn’t worn it. She had tried giving it away, but

Elliot caught her just as she stuffed it into the white plastic bag for Goodwill, along with a baby

blanket and some onesies. He snatched it from the bag and screamed at her that she always took

everything good in his life away. They hadn’t spoken for two weeks until he suggested they try

and find the things that they lost.

 

The express bus to New Hampshire lurched forward out of South station and began its

slow crawl towards its final destination. They didn’t speak for the first two hours, and it wasn’t

until the third that she nudged him and muttered that she needed to use the bathroom. He was

asleep, and so Remi had to climb over him. Once inside the claustrophobic room, she gasped

when she saw herself in the mirror. The flesh beneath her eyes was a dark greyish color. Her skin

lacked any youthful luster it once had. Remi pinched her cheeks to bring the color back like

she’d seen them do in old Victorian movies. But she was still a stranger to herself.

The sound of a baby crying and a knock on the door startled her. She unlocked the door

to find a young woman shuffling her feet from side to side with a baby bouncing on her hip.

“Oh thank God, I have to go,” she said and took one look at Remi, then looked at her

child, “Do you mind holding him?” she asked, “I’ll just be a minute.”

Remi’s arms shot out as if they no longer belonged to her, “S-sure,” she said taking the

baby to her chest.

“Thank you,” the woman said and disappeared into the bathroom.

Remi bounced the baby on her hip, then brought the top of its head to her nose and

breathed deeply the scent that wafted from its fine strands. The baby began to fuss, so she

walked up and down the aisle, humming against the baby's head a tune that she had heard once

but didn’t know enough of to sing the words. She brushed past Elliot waking him.

“Whose baby is that?” he asked turning from the window to face her, the footprint on the

window no longer visible.

“Not ours,” she said.

 


Wesline Zolfonoon is a Haitian American writer from Massachusetts. She is the author of two previous short stories, While You Were Sleeping and The Red Ribbon. She is also the author of three poems Silence, Things I’ll Never Forget, and Barbarians. She is currently a graduate student at Emerson College where she is pursuing an MFA in creative writing.

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