She never noticed. She was probably too preoccupied with her laundry, her shift schedule and the countless emails to even take notice of the card clipped in to the side of the dresser mirror.
She often hid in his old room, away from the rest of the house that felt cold and univiting during her visits. At least she could read her emails and catch up under a goosedown duvet while glancing out to the crisp sky occasionally through the picture window.
She stayed here twice a month, to check in on her mother, to make sure she was not too lonely after the death of her father. And this was his room. And this is where she slept.
It had been there for twenty years nearly exactly. A card written in June of 1996. The sentiments typical of what every daughter would say to her father at the age of 21 on Father’s Day. She glanced around taking note of the other piece of paper tucked in to her father’s dresser. Her wedding bulletin that was printed 6 months after that Fathers Day card was given, in December of 1996.
Remnants of the past, tucked into an inconspicuous place. When she dressed, did her hair or make up she used this mirror. Memories hanging in plain sight.
No matter what relationship she had carried with her antagonistic alcoholic father, he had kept this simple card, and his divorced daughters wedding bulletin in plain view for the past twenty years. The reflection in the mirror being the last bed he slept in before his final car ride to the hospital to be treated for an infection that would reveal an acute liver cancer that had rendered him dead in days.
And there were the reminders of a past she could never get back, of a father or relationship she could never reclaim. And she sat, hollow, empty and alone, the reflection in the mirror reminding her that it was exactly so.