He marveled at the simplicity of it. Nothing could be easier. He just picked up the remote, hit a button, and it was over. There wasn’t any sound, no noise but the whir of the fridge every few minutes. He stood there and watched it, the remote. He wanted to hear something, see something change. Nothing did. He stood there, sat, walked around the room only to hear the sound of his feet hitting the floor.
He looked out the window. It was noon. There were almost no shadows. He walked up to the window and brushed the curtain aside to look out unhindered. He didn’t see anyone. There wasn’t a single person out walking their dog. No kids were playing in the street. No one was out for a midday run. He watched the subdued early afternoon sway in the breeze.
He looked back at the remote. The room was now dark. He walked back to the table. His eyes adjusted and he reached down to pick up the remote. It was smaller than a tv remote, smaller than his grandfathers old garage remote. this was smaller than a deck of cards. He didn’t pick it up. He let it lie there. It was a stone. It was a part of the table, immovable. He pulled his hand back slowly. It could be a viper as well.
He turned to the kitchen and washed some dishes. It didn’t matter, did it? He’d be leaving in about an hour, maybe less. He walked out to the back of the house. The yard had been mowed, he’d done that yesterday. He walked around the house inspecting it. Nothing worth noting. He’d done everything he needed to. It would be easy to sell this place. He went to the garage, paused, and went back into the house. His phone rang. He thought about answering it, but decided against it. In an hour he’d be out of town. Three hours after that he’d be out of the state. By the next day he’d be in another country, buying a ticket to another continent. Maybe an island, he didn’t care. It was time to finish packing and leave.
His bedroom was clean as well, nothing out of place. He finished packing up his suitcase, put it by the door, and sat on his bed. Silence. It really was golden. He closed his eyes, and waited for the exact moment.
“Daddy!” He opened his eyes. “Daddy where are you?”
He heard his wife say something about checking the back of the house.
“Daddy are you in here?” His daughter opened his bedroom door with an inquisitive look on her face. When she saw him a smile bigger and brighter than the sun sprang to life and she nearly jumped with joy. She ran to him and jumped into his arms. He held her.
“How was your day?”
“It was awesome! We had a going away party at school and everyone wrote me a card and we played games and had a big lunch then mommy came and got me and we went out for ice cream and then we went to the store to get me a new bathing suit and its green with stripes and there’s a big turtle on it and I’m going to wear it in the car cuz mommy said I could.” She had said all this while hugging him, jumping down and running out of the room. He was again alone on his bed. He took a deep breath. he picked up the suitcase and went to the garage. He put the suitcase in the car and went back into the house.
“Dear? Is it ok if she wears her bathing suit until we get to your brothers? She is so in love with this thing. It’s cute, too. She picked it out herself. I can’t believe we’re going to really do this! It’s so exciting! I mean, on an island! Really live on an island! I never thought in a million years! Well, I better go make sure everything is set. Can you bring the car around? We should leave soon.”
He pulled the car around, watched the quiet neighborhood in its listless, languid state, and leaned back. He took another deep breath. He heard the car doors open and close, his wife and daughter giggling and laughing and making sure everything was in order.
“Oh, dear, did you turn off the air conditioner?”
“Yes, I left the remote on the table.”