Last caul of innocence

His lips pressed themselves against the back of my neck. Reassuring me of his presence, while I stood quivering in anger. In rage. In sadness. In loss.
I’d made a choice which I’d refrained from all these years. One last group to come out to.

I stood on that wood porch with the steel door which kept out the outside world. Silence from inside. Silence when normally that door rang with the intolerant television rants of the far right talking heads. That door I’d never again enter while my parents live. That door where I grew up. Where they grew closed. Grew religious. Grew delusional. Grew hatred in hearts I remembered, until this point, as kind.

He pulled me away. Back to our car. My heart breaking. Lips quivering. Tears blurring my vision.
One last walk down the sidewalk, past the low brick walls where cats who I knew all the names of, looked on. Not knowing this is the last we’d see each other.

Oscar, a black and white cat, older and with arthritis in his hips, bumped against me. One last hello, One last goodbye.