The dogs start barking and jumping on the front door about two seconds before the doorbell rings. That's my warning. I shoo the dogs out of the way while opening the door. "Hey girl! Come on in...Deedee, get down! Nolan, stop it! Have you had dinner? I've got plenty...okay, go on upstairs."
I hear laughing, cell phones going off, and "oh my god do you remember what we were doing when this picture was taken?" I hear "where is that one shirt?" and "this is such a cute tank."
It's almost like before, when her friends would come over and thump up and down the stairs.
Almost, but not quite.
A few of Jessica's friends came over last night, to take some of her clothes and pictures. It was nice to hear the noise again up there, but there was something huge missing. A distinct laugh, a particular voice, no one saying "Kelli! Did you wear my Abercrombie shirt? Maddy! Get out!"
As I cleaned up the dinner dishes, I realized I'd make one of Jessica's and Kelli's favorite dinners. We had roast, mashed potatoes, Velveeta macaroni and Hawaiian rolls. Of course, by favorite, I mean they would deign to take the smallest sliver of beef, but fill their plates with the rest. Kelli could eat two helpings of macaroni and all of those rolls if I let her. Jessica could polish off a huge bowl of potatoes by herself. I didn't make it intentionally, but maybe somehow they guided me.
I stayed downstairs while they went through her clothes, listening to the noise and feeling, for a little bit, like it was almost the same.