“Here’s the mail, Mom.”
“Thanks,” she said, not moving her gaze from the dirty horizon. The air had been very still for the last few days, and the smog was getting bad. It made for beautiful sunsets, though. It had been a very hot July so far. The sunsets brought a temporary relief from that heat and everything else.
She fingered through the envelopes. The cover of her favorite magazine seemed lifeless. There was a lot of mail. How long had it been since she last checked it? At least a week, she imagined. It was all so unimportant now. One piece caught her eye.
She felt a numbness of regret fall over her as she held the letter from the cardiologist in her hand. It was heavy. The plastic window crackled relentlessly. Inside were the answers to questions that no longer mattered. She threw it to the floor with absent disgust. Her daughter picked it from the ground.
“Aren’t you going to open it?”
“What’s the point?” she replied.
Her daughter flipped through the rest of the stack. A different letter caught her eye. “Wow. The bill for the funeral services is already here. They sure got that out in a hurry.”
“Yeah, they did.” The beauty of the sunset was already gone. Only the heat remained.