Blame the Bricks
– Autofiction by Raquel Battaglia –
Running along the new brick road. The grout is still young and lovely.
You were young and lovely. Your one ear that had an elvish point, your penchant for buying only the fanciest possible soap for our bathroom, and your one nose piercing that always caught the light.
I’ve always gone for a run when a tragedy arrives. Most come exactly as scheduled, after a couple months of hospital care in someone’s eighth or ninth decade. Real heartbreak, but heartbreak with enough mercy to announce its arrival. Your tragedy was different.
You were twenty-one.
You sat in a plane.
You didn’t die like people expect to die on planes. No turbulence tossing you out of the sky, no exploding engines or ocean crash-landings.
There isn’t even a hijacker to blame.
Maybe I could blame the stewardess. She found you and whispered the dark new secret that had snuck unwelcome into our world and made it real: “Chloë is dead.”
But that never happened. She didn’t even know your name; you were a seat number, maybe 22b. 36a. 18d.
So, today, I blame these new bricks that dare to still be young and lovely.
Running, my shoes grinding dirt into the grout.
About the Author – Raquel Battaglia
Raquel Battaglia is an American southerner living ‘across the pond’ in the UK. By day, she tackles statistics as a quantitative researcher for a hospice charity; by night, she leans into the qualitative side of life through creative writing. Raquel’s poetry and flash fiction can be read in The Closed Eye Open, 50 Give or Take, and The Tower. This is her first published piece of autofiction, done in memory of a dear friend. She is still running.
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