Gloria stood in the middle of the dark and dusty attic. She scanned the room with the low ceilings and musty smell. She didn’t want to be up there but she knew someone had to clean it out eventually. There was a lot of junk up in that attic. A lot was from her childhood – old toys and mementos. There was even more from her now deceased parents. There were outdated holiday decorations, mementos from their own childhood, old but important paperwork that was most likely overdue for a good shredding, and much more.
Gloria didn’t even need to go through the old boxes to remember what was in the attic. She just knew it was all stuff that hadn’t been touched in years. All of it, despite being packed away in boxes and storage bins, was most likely gross at this point. They might have been damaged or smelled of the old wooden beams and floorboards.
There were so many boxes and other items lying around. There were even old pieces of furniture left out. Though they were covered by white sheets, Gloria knew there was a thick layer of dust sitting underneath.
It was no wonder no one ever wanted to come up here and clean it out. They’d be in for quite the shower afterwards.
Gloria didn’t have any siblings and she had moved back into her childhood home to be with her elderly father when her mother passed away. She had loved living back home even though her husband had wanted a place of their own. However, now her father was gone and Gloria wondered if she and her husband should fix up and sell the place or if they should just stay put. Going through her parent’s thing though, she didn’t have any room to put them. The attic was the only logical place, but that too was full.
Her husband had offered to help her go through all the items. Gloria declined. She knew this was something she had to do on her own. Besides, she didn’t feel like telling her husband constantly what to do. Every item he picked up he would have asked what to do with it and Gloria would have to decide on the spot to keep it, sell it, or trash it. It would be easier for her to go through everything herself and in her own time.
Gloria finally stepped forward and took a look at the box closest to her. It was labeled, “MaryAnn.” Her mother. Gloria remembered her father had made a few boxes of her things not too long after she had passed away. Gloria opened the box and took a peek inside. A flood of memories poured out and quickly closed it.
Maybe she would start with a different box.
There were a few labeled “Gloria” and she had a feeling she knew what those were. Old school papers and drawing from when she was a little kid that her mother wasn’t able to let go of. Gloria knew all that could have gotten thrown out. She didn’t care too much for her own hand-print turkeys or high school persuasive essays.
When Gloria opened the box, however, old stuffed animals and photographs were inside. A wave of nostalgia came over her and she quickly closed the box.
Gloria looked around the room. There had to have been something she was able to go through and get rid of. The furniture! Maybe she could get rid of some old chairs. They were most likely rotted anyway.
She lifted the sheet off the first chair she was able to reach. It was the rocking chair her father had bought her mother when she was pregnant. Gloria got a whiff of her mother’s perfume and could have sworn she heard the creaking of the rocking chair as if her mother was sitting it right then.
Gloria put the sheet back over and hurried out of the attic. It was no wonder no one ever went up there anymore.