But Jeanie didn’t smile back at the stuffed bird. She flopped in the old wooden rocking chair, hardly thinking how old it was. Her mother bought it when Jeanie was born so she could rock the newborn baby to sleep. Jeanie pulled her knees up to her chin and let the chair rock on its own.
Her home seemed strangely quiet. There were noises in the night that she didn’t remember, and some she did. Sleeping in the basement made her feel like a refugee. And in a way she was. She didn’t quite know what else to do, and so she came home.
But it didn’t feel like home. It hadn’t felt like home for a while. Glancing around the fluorescent lit basement, she searched for something familiar. Everything fit the description, but nothing leapt out at her. It all felt detached.
Just like her. She had just lost her job. She had just lost her roommate. She had just lost her apartment. Now all she had was a trunk full of belongings, now piled pathetically in front of the closet. She didn’t want to ask her parents for help, and she didn’t plan on it. She just needed somewhere to lay low for a few days, and then she’d know what to do. At least that’s what she told herself.
Swaying in the rocking chair in the cold of the basement, Jeanie felt alone.