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Rated: E · Short Story · Emotional · #2214795
Cleaning up James' second home.
In the days to come, Tommy drove the truck James called home she asked her sister to join her in the cleaning out of James' truck. Kady drove up to the yard with a van full of boxes and crates empty. Knowing that they wouldn't stay that way.

"Tommy, would you stay around and make sure I don't take anything that belongs on the truck?"

"Sure." He hugged her tightly. Standing on the passenger side of the big rig, Kady took a deep breath knowing what she had to do. Opening the door and climbing in the smell of stale air and chemicals hit her nose. This was the last place James lived in. As always it was messy. The floor was littered with paper and trash.

"Lori, take this case of water to the van please, and bring back the cooler." Her sister pulled the bottled water from the truck and soon returned with an ice chest. Kady began to clean out the fridge and freezer that held James' food.

"Kady, is there anything I can help with?" Lori wondered trying to help get the job done.

"Yeah, come up with a box or crate and begin cleaning out all the cubby holes." Lori left for another minute. Right now I want to keep everything.

"Oh my gosh, can we open some windows or get some air flowing in here?" Tommy came around to the drivers' side and turned the key on, and rolled down the windows. Lori began asking whether to keep something or not.

"Lori, we are going to keep everything for now. Unless we know it's trash like whatever is on the floor that does NOT have Fridge Foods on it, keep it. How about you begin up there." Kady pointed to the small cubby cabinets that were above the driver's seat. In time Tommy made a lot of trips between the truck and Kady's van. Kady never once shed a tear in all this. She became stoic, she knew this day would eventually come but didn't think it would be this close to their wedding anniversary of 23 years. Cleaning out James' truck was nothing unusual for her. She always helped him when he came home. This was different because he wasn't coming home again. He wasn't here to help her to know what needed to be kept and what needed to be thrown away. She would have to make that decision on her own. They carefully removed the tv from its mount on the wall. Kady took her time but knew that she needed to get this done before it got too late in the afternoon. She found his DVD collection and books he read. His close went into a box. James would not appreciate that. Her mind wandered. As she moved to the back of the bunk, God, he's got a lot of stuff.

"You don't realize how much stuff one person can live off of." Her sister remarked.

"I know. I knew he had a lot but this seems excessive." she paused climbing onto the side of the top bunk. "I bet he used most of this if not all of it though." Kady began handing the pots and pans down to her sisters' waiting hands. Next came the release of the drawer sets that held James' food, utensils, and dishes.

"What are you going to do with all this?" Lori wondered.

"Take it home and go through it in a couple of days. Use some of it and sell some of it, I'm not sure right now."

"I call dibs on what you don't want. If it still works."

"James never kept anything that didn't work in this truck." she paused looking around, "It may be disorganized but he had his own chaotic system. Which explains why I just began going through the cabinets and cubbies. It's easier to just clean out what in them then organize later. Kady made her way around the top of the truck where James kept his cleaning supplies and some food items. The man had something in every little nook and cranny of this vehicle.

An hour later, Kady and Lori were on their way back to Kady's to unload what they had. The truck was cleaned out the best that Kady knew how.

"Thank you for coming with me today. I needed to help."

"You're welcome. Are you okay? This didn't affect you the way I thought it would."

"I know, I figured I might be sobbing and crying through the whole ordeal almost non-functional. It was peaceful though, like getting some closure on a piece of my life that I've been waiting for a long time to close."

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