Paperclip

by Sue Johnson

 

My last coin rolled under the silent refrigerator. I looked for something to push underneath. The wooden spatula, blue pen, and the kitchen scissors were too big to fit through the tiny gap. A length of white ribbon was too flimsy.

I reached for the giant paperclip that held together the fragments of my life – bills, bank statements, final demands that I’d had no energy to deal with. I stretched out the thin metal, got on my knees on the grimy black tiles, and pushed it under the refrigerator.

It teased out a ball of fluff, a heap of dried breadcrumbs, the pound coin and finally – like a curtain call – my ruby engagement ring that lost its reason the day you picked up your suitcase and left my life.

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