She closed her eyes. “Look,” Billy had said one evening not long ago after he called her in and pointed up at his newest acquisition.
“It looks great, doesn't it? And the guy at the flea market didn't charge for it. Just gave it to me on account of my being a good customer.”
He took her hand. “The chair will look real good under it. Help me push it.”
Martha frowned and pushed him away.
“I'm tired of all the junk you bring home!”
Her husband just smiled.
“Junk? You may think so, but remember that one man's junk is - ”
“Another man's treasure. I know, Billy,” she said, and went to find the pillow and blanket for him to use for when he slept on the sofa.
Until they moved from the city to the rural fishing town of his birth, Billy held a mid-level job in a government agency. Retirement brought them permanently to his childhood home. Martha volunteered at the nursery school; Billy spent his days treasure hunting.
Now, sitting and waiting for this day to end, she shook her head no when her daughter asked if she wanted something to drink. Martha looked around the room, at every available surface crowded with other people's unwanted detritus. She nodded when her son asked if she was ready and prepared herself as each mourner, in turn, approached, took her hand, and murmured words they thought would comfort.
“He will be missed, you can be sure of that.”
“Billy Frick was a good man.”
“Let me know if you need me to do anything for you.”
Reverend Hopwood was the last to lean over her. “We must remember that God works in mysterious ways,” he said as he squeezed her shoulder, but flushed in embarrassment when Martha laughed.
She did not expect to see any of them again. In several days the moving company would bring her things back to the city. The truck from the thrift shop would take the rest, including the screwdriver she last used to loosen the screws holding the bracket of the mount.