Originally published in 101 Words.

In the apartment, we only had a living room. Now the burbs have gifted us a family room, too. Another unnecessity, like the fireplace that will stand sterile in 70-degree winters.

“Drywall over it. Then you’ll have another wall,” said the husband.

“I don’t need another wall.” My words ricocheted inside the bare space.

“One day we might.”

One day. That pacifies six-year-old hopefuls. Deludes middle-aged unexplorers. Aborts yet-to-be grandparents. “One day. One day.” Placates doomed bathroom visits, plastic stick always trembling in my hands. “One day. One day. One day.” Until the phrase whittles itself down stick-thin, empty—like me.

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