Her roommate vacated the room.

I saw the room for what it was, an empty shell awaiting another occupant.

I kept thinking of the life that had once resided there. I considered my friend's life in the apartment and those before her. The hardwood floors seemed to talk incessantly about these people.

In the absence of another, dust moved in. It was awkward, akin to the discomfiting stage after a breakup when everything was unsettled. Now and then, the dust shifted in the slightest breeze as if to remind the world of the gap between occupants.

I stood in the doorway of the empty room. I made clicking sounds and whistled. The reverberation bounced back. The room felt alive and oddly devoid but alive. The shades were drawn; they were missing a few slats, so I could see street lights pass through and the headlights of passing cars. It wasn't that late, but I was surprised people were out.

“Why are they out?” I asked aloud, hearing my voice echo until it asked me the same question. They should be home, inhabiting rooms and living in spaces to rebel and defy the words “husk” and “shell.” Shouldn’t they be home inhabiting their dwellings forcing dust to swirl and dance invisibly with their movements, only to loom in the corners and lurk about when the shell is hollow and vacant?