Sofia, Sofia by Melissa McEwen

Junior is always leaving Sofia for months at a time, but he never leaves for good. He still has a key and Sofia never changes the locks because she knows he’ll be back, she just doesn’t know when. So every night before she goes to bed, she leaves the porch light on for him and a plate of food on the table and he’ll show up out of the blue like he never left, returning in the middle of the night, through the back door, and his heavy gait and the creaking floorboards will wake her. She’ll lie there and listen as he heats up his food in the microwave. He’ll eat like he hasn’t had a meal in weeks. She’ll comb her hair with her fingers and wait for him to come to bed. She’ll fall back asleep by the time he comes, but when he comes, he’ll whisper Sofia, Sofia in her ear and mechanically she’ll turn over on her back and open her legs.

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “Sofia, Sofia by Melissa McEwen

  1. mimmcewen

    What a password! I love it!

  2. Melissa,

    This is a touching, sad story. The details are so clear and specific and they make the people so real to me (how she combs her fingers with her hair; how he eats like he hasn’t eaten in a week, etc). Nice job.

    As I told Michelle, when I sent in my story “Sweet Tea” I told the editors that when I wrote it, I was purposefully trying to emulate the work of Michelle and Melissa McEwen, whose voices and prose styles are so beautiful, yet so different than my own. Thanks for helping me push myself out of my same old voice. Dan

    • Melissa

      Thanks Dan! Michelle was just telling me about what you wrote and thanks for the kind words!

      I enjoyed “Sweet Tea” and when reading it I was like “Man, why didn’t I think of this!” I was jealous!

  3. guy

    Beautifully painful. I wonder about Junior and his motivations, what keeps him in her orbit. The creaking floorboards, the microwave, her falling asleep… great choice of details. Love it.

    • Melissa

      If I make this a longer piece, I might get into that. I don’t even know myself what his motivations are and what keeps him in her orbit. haha.

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  5. I feel sorry for Sophia. Poor woman.

  6. Sophie’s like so many women I’ve known, who stay where they are because they feel that’s the best they can do. Beautiful story, told with purity and honesty. Peace…

  7. This feels so painfully real for too many women. Such a lush story in so little space, very effective.

  8. this was a little pill of cyanide. and i loved swallowing it.

  9. Melissa McEwen

    Thanks for the comment and insight everybody!

  10. Very well done, esp. with the details that add grounding to her environment. And the surprise of the ending is that while it is no surprise, we were all hoping for her sake that it wouldn’t end (and continue on forever) this way.

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  12. Michael

    [repost from Facebook] Excellent, Melissa! Powerful. And I love the longing…and the patient, unconditional waiting. yes, I like this very much.

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