The Calender

by nicolecallihan

I keep promising myself I’ll write about other things: write about those late days of summer, or the pumpkins, or the wind, or how these last few weeks the sunsets have been so pretty, always a different color. Pink, I say to Eva, or Gold, or, Look, baby, look how the bottoms of the clouds are bright white and the tops are heavy and gray.

Yesterday, we played outside until our fingers were numb, and I could swear I saw my breath. But surely it’s too early for that–isn’t it?

There’s a calender that hangs in our kitchen that I look at when I’m washing apples or heating up a can of soup. So-and-so’s birthday, it says, or Dinner with the Who’s-It’s. But lately I can’t stop noticing the scribbles.

On the calender, in the lower right-hand corner of every Friday, I had counted the weeks. 1, 2, 3, all the way to 40, and at 40, I had drawn a big heart. 40 was when the baby would come. It would be the dead of winter but we wouldn’t mind because we’d just hole up until the flowers bloomed and then, come spring, we’d emerge.

Now, though, I’ve scribbled out the numbers. There’s nothing but a dark blue mark (scrawled with my favorite pen), and unless you get really close, unless you really try to see it, you’d never know what week it is, never know how much longer to go, or–as fate has it–not go, never know any of it, really. Still, at the end, there is the heart: fat and white, a would-be snowflake hanging onto the edge of the new year, in danger of little more than disappearing with another turn of the calender page.