Sofia stood tip toed on the stool. Her back cracked in protest as she stretched to her full height. Her hand patted along the closet’s dusty shelf.
Where was it? She knew it was in there.
She almost toppled off the stool when the car horn sounded. She aimed her glare out the window. Impatient kid. Well, she could just wait a minute. No reason they had to be early. Her hand moved along the empty shelf. Now where was that damn thing?
She sighed and her body relaxed into its normal hunched posture. Her foot stuttered as it reached for the ground. Finding her balance, she shifted her weight and placed her other foot down, her breathing rapid from the exertion.
The car horn sounded again. She batted her hands at the window. Always in a hurry.
Faded floral wallpaper peeled from the walls. The wooden floor was a shade darker where the bed had protected it. Sunlight filtered in through the trees outside, highlighting the dust that swirled around. She had been married under those trees.
Sofia’s eyes fell to the window seat in front of the naked window. She had always loved the gauze like curtains her mother had made. The way they billowed in the summer breeze. She’d dart towards them then run away, playing tag with the gentle ghost.
She shuffled toward the seat and tapped along the wooden front panel. Knock. Knock. Where was that spot? Knock. Knock. Thud.
Her mouth turned up. There. She knelt and curled her fingers under the panel. She tugged. The board gave and she plopped onto her bottom.
She shifted onto her hands and knees. She leaned forward, her pendulous breasts grazing the floor. Her arm reached into the dark hole. There.
She pulled out the little box and sat on the floor, legs straight out in front. She brushed off a layer of sticky spider webs. The soft yellow fabric had faded to almost white. She opened the box. A little ballerina spun en pointe. Time had turned the music tinny, but Sofia heard only the same tinkling she had the first time she opened it.
Her father leaned over to kiss her forehead, testing her fever with his lips. A flourish produced the tiny box from his coat pocket. She wondered what bauble he brought for her amusement. She opened the box and the ballerina danced for her. Never tiring. She wrapped her arms around his neck.
The car horn sounded. Two long bleats.
Sofia replaced the plank. She clutched the music box in one hand and managed to get herself off the floor with the other. She shuffled out the door to the stairs. Holding the railing, she descended like one of her children when they were toddlers, both feet landing on each step. She shielded her eyes from the bright sun as she exited the house.
Her granddaughter was at her side, holding her elbow down the sidewalk to the running car.
“You found it! I looked everywhere. Where was it?”
Her granddaughter helped her into the car and closed the door for her before jogging over to the driver’s side.
A single suitcase her granddaughter packed for her filled with orthopedic shoes, thick socks, polyester pants, and underwear sat in the backseat. Her personal items, she said. Everything else was provided.
“You’re going to love it there, Grandma. Once you adjust. All those people for you to talk to. No more rattling around in this old place by yourself.”
The car pulled out of the driveway. Sofia ran her hands along the soft cloth sitting in her lap.
**ConCrit is welcomed and encouraged. I realized late I didn’t quite follow the prompt. Kind of glazed over the clothing part. Ooops. Also, I’m messing around with the layout, so if anything’s wonky or hard to read, please let me know. Thanks!