Restless, my fellow Kit-Kats and I watched the faces of prospective buyers pass by our bag sitting in Aisle 7. Other candies surrounded us, sitting in the same aisle: the candy aisle. Not only did bags of other Kit-Kats lay with us, but Skittles, Twix, M&Ms, Mike & Ikes, and so many more anxiously looked up at our chances of freedom as they passed. “Halloween” with orange and black decorated most of our bags, us fun-sized bars sticking together under our banners of spiders and pumpkins. This year, it seemed the full-sized Pixi-Stix were the most popular, but the orange Kit-Kats would always rank number one. And today was our chance.
An elderly woman with a thin and grey-ing bun on top of her head picked up our bag, my lefty twin humming of excitement. Lefty wouldn’t shut up, going on and on about “trick-or-treating” and “pillowcases.” I gave Lefty a nudge and a shush. The woman seemed to be pleased with our bag and bought us. Cheers muffled by our respective individual wrappers were loud enough for all the Kit-Kats in our bag to hear. Other candies in the aisle were of mixed feelings: some were cheering with us, others looked on with hope towards the other last-minute candy shoppers making their way through. She bought us and took us home. We filled a ceramic green and yellow bowl on that Halloween night. But the most memorable thing, was when a little ghost, no more than 4, took Lefty and I in his tiny little hand, and gasped with joy.
Each morning I wake up with him on my mind and pain in my heart. The trinkling of a sunbeam peeking through the drawn blinds of my window illuminated the bits of dust meandering around the air. I rolled over onto my side and hugged a grey pillow close. Curling around a pillow was one of the most comforting things I have found in this world, but the mornings caused even this to evade me.
My boyfriend called to me from the kitchen in our small apartment. His voice cheerfully encouraging me to get out of the bed and come get breakfast. It had been a while since he made breakfast last, but I was just glad I didn’t have to make my own coffee this time. Somehow, like every other morning, I replied back in a groggy and sleepy voice that sounded like I had just woken up. I told him that I was tired and was slugging myself out of bed. He seemed convinced, as plates clinked down onto the small tan table.
I pulled myself up, sitting with my legs dangling off the edge of the bed. Tears welling up in my eyes with threat of spilling over, I put a warm hand to my thin belly. I wanted a baby. I knew we weren’t ready for a babe for so many reasons, but… I wanted my child. I would name him Joseph. My sweet baby Joseph… You’ll come to me one day. And that man in the kitchen will be your father. I promise.
Flowers came to my house every other Monday around 1 o’clock. I still had no clue as to who was doing this, but I appreciated them nonetheless. Depending on the season, I would get beautiful pompom dahlias or gorgeous hyacinths, handsome lilies or wonderful peonies. They were always delivered by a floral shop from downtown on Main and Cherry. I remember asking them on several occasions who was sending them and why. Every time I asked, the replied with a smile and a little card, the same card that comes attached to each bouquet.
To the woman more beautiful than all the flowers in the world. May these brighten your day and your heart. You always deserve to smile.
I asked my neighbors and they said they had no idea who it could be. Family and friends simply shrugged and stated they didn’t know. The floral shop wouldn’t spill their secrets about this anonymous flower sender, so I eventually accepted that someone was doing an act of kindness. I gave up my search, simply being grateful for the reminders that I mattered in the world, until one day, I didn’t receive flowers. One Monday at 1 o’clock, instead of flowers, I got a tiny potted cactus with a little red bulb on the top. I pondered it for a while, standing on my porch in a sundress I had just dug up from the depths of my closet. A string tied the usual note to it, but added a new line:
Go to the floral shop, for this is your last gift, and you deserve to find your answer.
The subway stopped suddenly inside the tunnel. Those who weren’t on their phones, tablets, or reading the newspaper began the murmuring first. Geo felt the lurch of the train as it came to a halt and unplugged one of his headphones from his ear. Those more attentive were becoming louder with their concerns. Since the train was sectioned off into different cars, no one could quite figure out what was going on. Geo stood and whispered his “excuse me”s to the people he passed on his way to the front window. He looked through and waved to the other confused people in the car just ahead of theirs. A couple ladies in nearest to the other window put their hands up to signal their loss as well. Luckily, it appeared that there were no casualties throughout the train, the information being passed through charades between car windows.
Someone in the back near the railing tried pushing the emergency intercom button that connects to the conductor’s car. Loud static coerced a deafening silence from the people in Geo’s train car. An electric blip sound cut off the static. It was so silent in their space that they all heard the cars in front of them becoming louder and louder. Geo slowly turned and watched the two women from before in the car ahead of him turn with horror twisting their faces. The lights in the car before them shut down. Then theirs. Then Geo’s. Darkness fell amongst them like an anvil.