After Hector died, a pall set in. It wasn't immediate. There was the funeral, the desk to clean out at his work and the box to take home with his photos of us and the kids, the ugly paperweight he had gotten for being salesman of the month. Then there were the obligatory visits from folks who thought for some reason I had decided to eat casseroles, when I never ate a casserole my whole life. And ham. I hate ham. Anyways, after the parade of casseroles and ham, it came. It rolled in, heavy and wet and thick, like quilt batting soaked with wet cement. Everything turned grey, and beige, and puce. I lost weight, but felt as if I wore stones in my pockets, and ingots of lead around my neck. I felt so heavy I was sure that I would sink through the floor and meet Hector somewhere down below.
Again, I can't tell you exactly when it happened, but it was sometime after I wrote the last check that had both of our names at the top of it, maybe even that same day. I looked out the window and I saw the leaves slowly fill up with chlorophyll, as if they had never been green before in their lives. The wet sheen of the pavement slowly began to mirror the promising sky, and my tea tasted not just tepid, but of jasmine.