The apartment was empty, it had been for years now. Walking through the front door he found the rooms undisturbed, as though lying in a cryogenic sleep forever preserved. It was eerie how untouched everything was, it felt as though he were stepping into the past, although this past was much more bleak than the one he liked to remember. This past was a lonely one.
Flipping the light switch the bulbs and wiring buzzed with age; it took a moment for the room to settle into a constant lighting as the bulbs flickered, but once it had he proceeded to venture deeper into the apartment.
The dishes were stacked in a neat pile next to the sink rather than the cupboards and the table had been set for two. He could remember doing this each night,a calm mechanical procedure he’d performed without hope there would be a recipient for the other plate, then scraping the uneaten platter of food into the trash and washing both dishes, placing them at the top of their respective stacks.
Life then had been an organized one, full of false hope and childish belief. When he had finally escaped and made a new life he’d sworn to himself he’d never come back, and yet her he was, stepping back into a dust encrusted past he didn’t want to remember.
Standing before the door that had been closed for more years than he cared to count he slowly reached his hand out and turned the doorknob, pushing it open to reveal his parents bedroom. There was no one inside, as was expected. Despite having lived alone for a large portion of his childhood he could still recall his mother’s tight embrace, his father’s easy laugh, memories that had come before hopeless routines.
His parents had been buried side by side in the family graveyard. When he and his father had attended his mother’s funeral and it hadn’t been long after that that his father began disappearing. He’d missed his father’s funeral three months ago. Now, holding two red roses he reverently stepped into the room he hadn’t dared venture into in earlier years in hopes that one night his father would return to be with him once more.
The bed was made, the entire room collecting dust. Like the rest of the house this room was frozen in time, as though at any moment life could resume as it had been years ago.
But time carried on and life remained as bitter as it always had, cruel partners in a never ending crime.
Walking forward solemnly he placed a rose on either side of the bed and took a picture of their family from the shelf beside the bed. The smiles were forced and plastic but they were smiles nonetheless. He placed it on the bed as well, between the two roses.
His parents had died long ago, before their funerals and before their tragic demise on the face of the planet. This room was the final resting place that would forever home their souls.
Looking over the scene he choked back his tears and whispered into the stale silence, "Rest in peace."
Quietly he retreated from the room and pulled the door closed behind him and turned the lock, listening as it slid into place. Standing at the threshold to his parents room he turned and walked away for the second time, this time never to return.