R is for Ran
Louise spent the days that followed packing the contents of the house in her paid-for boxes. She carefully wrapped every piece of china in newspaper—not single sheets, but layer after layer. For a single teapot she used the entire Sunday Review section, and a chipped candlestick took nine pages of stock market news. She crumpled the Parade section page by page and used it as extra padding along the sides, top, and bottom of each layer.
Nothing was left behind: not the cups with broken handles, not the single saltshaker that years earlier lost its pepper mill, not even a half-empty box of laundry detergent. When she ran out of newspaper, she gathered the bath towels and wound them around platters and soup tureens. Once the towels were gone, she turned to sheets and pillowcases. After that she used the remainder of Clay’s tee shirts to wrap a photo album filled with long-forgotten faces. Before she was finished the stack of cartons had begun to smell of dampness, because of the tears dropped in alongside her belongings.