Caroline liked to walk around her apartment and pretend she was her boyfriend or mom or sister going through her home for the first time after she had died.
She would smile at all the unwashed dishes, caked with garlic & herb pasta sauce from the tortellini dinner she had eaten the night before her death.
She would tear up at the sight of the birthday, Valentine's Day and Christmas cards that were piled up on the side-table beside the couch.
She sat down at her couch, wondering how she would pack up all of her furniture, books, magazines (all those stacks of Vogue on the wood floor would take up at least eight medium-sized boxes), designer purses and clothes (god, she really did have way too many clothes.)
If she were her sister, Caroline thought, would she immediately claim her Star Trek movies and her Gandalf figurine?
If she were her mom, would she shake her head in annoyance at the piles of bills, tax receipts and pay stubs lying in a heap in the closet?
If she were her boyfriend, would she pick up the ratty t-shirt on the floor and smell it, breathing in her scent?
Caroline sat on the saggy off-white couch in the living room and looked around her small apartment.
Dusty photos still sat on the floor, despite the fact that she promised herself to hang them when she moved in five years ago. A used kleenex lay crumpled on the coffee table. Blackened poinsettia leaves covered the floor in the far corner; the plant itself still clung feebly to life.
Caroline got up from the couch and opened up the sliding door to the balcony. She squinted into the sun and rested her hands on the railing. She looked out at the urban jungle that was crawling with life.
It was July. It was hot.