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  1. Heaven
    By Allison Rothrock

Thin clouds stretched over the otherwise pellucid pearlescent sky. It was strikingly blue, and the sun seemed to be glittering, one look at above required squinting and an arm over the eyes. It was that kind of day—a beautiful one, yet unfitting for the occasion.

There was a long line of people that led up to my grandmother’s house, some carrying flowers or plates of food, and I sat by the door, greeting everyone that came through while my parents tended to everyone inside. People who never have even spoken to my grandma gave their deepest condolences, and one look at them said it all. They were doing it to make themselves feel better, but they’ll never know how I remembered her.

Grandmother’s house was summer tanned legs thrown over the front porch and bare thighs scalding against the heated steps that the sun had spent warming all day. Her house was homemade lemonade melting in perspiration sweated hands, butterscotch candy kisses, and stories from long before our time.

Grandmother’s aged hands; thick and wrinkled were incomparable to her youthful laughs. To trace the deep lines on her palms to the back of her hands was always absorbing. An activity while listening to the soft hum of the way too old A.C. mixed in with her soothing voice was rhythmic enough to fall asleep to.

Grandmother’s old dresses, far too small and out of date to wear anymore, but she would still pose in front of the mirror with a flower in her hair and dance as if she was twenty. When she did that, she truly looked young again; with bright eyes, rosy cheeks, and dark hair that curled at the base of her neck.

Grandmother’s food was too much bad and not enough good. Things my mother would scold me if she caught me eating just a lick of, but it was always just one of the many secrets kept between just us, her food filling much more than my stomach.

Grandmother’s soul was so much more than just this, her wise advice and bright demeanor despite her age carried on more than she would ever know.

I glanced up at the sky again, not needing to squint anymore as the sun was setting now, twinkling dully in the burnt orange-red sky.

Grandmother’s house was home, and memories that ran deep.