The cat stands in the doorway looking in. She blinks as she takes in the quiet and tidy room with the sunlight pouring through the window.
Once, this was a room that was perpetually in disarray. Scattered across the floor, it had layers and layers of recently worn or once-tried-on and discarded clothes. The window sills were littered with plates with partially-eaten food and mostly-empty soda bottles. There were old homework assignments strewn around and novels with their bookmarks askew and lying on the floor. Everywhere there were make-up containers, unmatched shoes and socks, and backpacks with contents seemingly flying out of them. Open sketch pads and pencils were all about and there were stark and striking portraits in graphite peeking through the debris. Brushes and hair-straighteners still “on” were sitting on the floor near the mirror. A computer, phone, and several textbooks were among the rumpled sheets, pillows, blankets and comforter heaped on the bed. And artifacts from a childhood still dotted the shelves.
Now the room is silent. The floor is swept and bare and the bed is made and tidy. The closet and bookshelves are mostly empty and recently dusted. All is clean and neat. The girl who once lived here now lives 2200 miles away at a college in the Midwest.
The cat and I, we miss the mess. Especially, we both miss the girl who made it.