by Austin Ortiz
I could feel my hands grow clammy and my breathing get heavy as my eyes swept over the sight that waited for me outside my car window. Broken glass, a blown-in lock, and chipped paint on the splitting wood of the once flawless white door that kept us safe from the outside forces. My limbs full of lead as I opened the car door and stepped out, seeing the life my family and I had made for ourselves fall apart at the seams. I could hear the voices of the police talking nearby, something about not finding the perpetrators, though it was drowned out by the static in my ears as I ducked under the yellow caution tape, approaching the husk that was mine and my husband’s pride and joy before the adoption of our daughter, all life and character completely stripped from the previously lively and cherished home. I could see him whisking me up and carrying me through the door the morning after we got the word that the house was finally finished, a much less formal recreation of the night of our wedding. My feet carried me through the door and into the corridor beside the ransacked living room, our new tv gone, furniture thrown this way and that, almost all of our framed pictures laid shattered on the floor. I saw Vincent sitting across from the social worker as I brought in a tray of tea and cookies, the house as pristine as it could be in an attempt to showcase that we were ready for a child to be welcomed.
About the Author
Austin Ortiz, 23, of Slidell writes prose on loss and family. His favorite library branch is the Slidell Branch on Robert Boulevard.