It was nearly fall the afternoon Sorrow came to stay. Not to visit, but to stay. She didn't come unprepared, on the fly, with dusty hair and travel-worn shoes. She came for good, with bags in each hand packed to brim, ready for any occasion.
Trousers and blouses and house clothes. Sequined dancing dresses and skimpy underthings, exercise shoes and shiny stilettos. A bag of its own just for bracelets and bangles, pendants and rings. Pretty things to dangle from the lobes of her ears and rest against the slope of her chest.
Black. All of it in black. Black, black, black.
The pencil she lined her eyes with and the powder she brushed over her lids. The bottles, slender and graceful that held her perfume, the heaviness of each scent betraying its delicate bottle. Every item of her clothes and every piece of her jewelry. Every shoe in her trunk. Black.
She came at the time of year when the wind was still undecided whether to blow warm or cool. She came at the time of day that the sky was just splitting open, into reds and oranges, like a peach, bitten into after one day too long on the counter. She came at the hour when the whole farm, for miles either way, smelled faintly of old peaches. She came that year when your sister's cheeks reminded you of peaches, round and blushing bright.
She came that time of year before the fall, when the air smelled like peaches and the sky looked like peaches, right after the last drop of sticky peach juice dripped from your sister's face to her hands to her feet.
She came without invitation or welcome, with her black bags and black clothes and nothing was ever the same. None of you were ever the same. Right as the last drop of juice hit the dust, she came strolling into the yard. Her heavy perfume drowned out the smell of peaches, and it never came back. The sky always seemed to go from blue to black.