The boots were back.

They sat at the mud room door as they always had, as he’d always placed them as soon as he’d come home, as he would have this day if he hadn’t been dead a month.

They were back, and this frightened her.

She’d taken the boots and his coats and his work shirts and his winter socks and his fuzzy wool caps and she’d boxed them up in sturdy cardboard boxes and she’d given them to the thrift store in town.

She’d boxed up other things of his, reminders he had been there, reminders of their thirty years together, She’d wanted to make space that wasn’t haunted by his things. His work clothes were the hardest to have around. They still held his smell, his weight. They had to go. And they did, in the boxes she lovingly packed.

But the boots were back. And the mud room door was ajar.

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