Grace woke up, rolled over, and stretched her arm to pull Izzy closer. Her hand felt empty mattress, so she patted along for a few seconds before finally opening her eyes and seeing that Izzy wasn’t there. Even with the blinds pulled, she could tell it was deep in the night, as no light peaked out from the corners of the window.
Grace yawned, “Izzy, honey, where are you?” She sat up and stared at the empty half of the bed.
Grace felt a tickle of breath across her ear – Izzy’s voice. “I’m on the roof. I want to show you something.” Grace, startled, looked around the room. She rubbed her eyes and blinked them open again, but still Izzy was not near. Shaking her head clear, she mentally prepared for leaving the warmth of the blankets and threw her legs over the side of the bed. It took her a second, and a great amount of energy to take that single small step to the cold hard wood floor, and then into her slippers.
Across the hall from her room was the guest room, the door and window open to the small veranda roof at the front of the house, pointing toward the street and the city below. As Grace forced herself through the thick unrelenting sludge of being half awake, she whispered to herself, “Thank God Mom’s not visiting.”
Grace dragged her feet forward and pushed aside the lightly fluttering curtain so she could poke her head through. Izzy was standing at the edge of the roof, the tips of her toes just past the gutter. The side of Izzy’s face was illuminated by the drag of her cigarette. Grace started to crawl out, hoping not to be too loud and startle Izzy.(more…)