An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life



with memories of auggie_icon.gif

Scene Title An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life
Synopsis The only thing left when a man dies is the detritus of an ordinary life — except to the person packing it all up, those very ordinary things can mean so much.
Date July 12, 2009

Auggie's Apartment

Such a small space really shouldn't echo — it's just a one-bedroom place. Tiny, really. Auggie was hardly ever here, commenting that it was just a place to crash. Why should he spend his money on a crash pad? Jake Hunter took all the big furniture out yesterday, his presence giving the activity a normalcy that Megan is fully aware won't be there today. Standing just inside the door of the apartment, the redhead clenches her jaw against a rush of tears looking at the empty living room. She wants to turn and walk out, to leave this for another day. But if she lets herself do it, … she won't come back. She won't be able to bring herself to come back into this apartment again.

Yesterday she packed up all of Auggie's pictures, books, DVDs, computer, random living room stuff, all the dishes and kitchenware. 'All' was something of a relative term. It wasn't as if he had a ton of it. The only thing the man had a ton of was hats — baseball caps, cowboy hats, a random fedora that she gave him as a gag for Halloween last year, making him dress up as a gangster. She'd packed those yesterday too — the memory of the fedora once more brings a faint smile to her lips as she makes her way to the back of the apartment.

She left the bedroom for today deliberately, knowing she was going to lose it packing up his personal stuff. She let Jake take the bed, the dresser, and the night table out of the bedroom, along with Auggie's gun safe (which went to her house until she could deal with the contents), asking only that he leave the desk and filing cabinet crammed into one corner for her to handle herself. Steeling herself, she opens the bedroom door.

Even now, without the bed, the room and accompanying bathroom retains a hint of his scent… that bizarre mix of jet fuel and aftershave, citrus and soap and warm male. Megan pauses at the threshold. Standing here in this moment, she could almost think she was packing him up to move him into her place, as they'd planned. Was it really only a couple of weeks ago? It still isn't quite real. Kobrin hasn't been able to give her a body to bury. It's so easy to deceive herself right now into thinking he's just on another run.

She walks slowly into the bedroom, setting down her purse just inside the door as she closes it behind her. The desk and file cabinet remain… and she starts there, because it hurts far less than opening his closet to deal with the clothing hanging there. She probably should have let Hunter handle that part. It'll be the part that kills her. But… she couldn't. She needs to do it.

Sorting through his mail, the bills, his bank statements… she feels like a voyeur. Megan's never put her nose so far into his personal business — not at this level. Sure, she's paid the bills for him when he's needed her to, but that's been by reimbursement on the few occasions she's had to handle it. Most of his stuff was handled automatically. And she can see why, choking over the amount in his bank accounts and stock portfolios.

Jesus Christ, Auggie… I knew you made a good living, but this is ridiculous.

She discards everything that doesn't look too important and notes the name of the lawyer who handles most of Chicago Air's employees' stock portfolios and retirement funds and everything else. The monthly bills she puts into a file to take to the lawyer, along with all the financial statements, and all of that goes into a box that she left yesterday to handle this sort of thing. His address book Megan puts into her purse to make the phone call to his parents about his death.

It takes a couple of hours to make sure she's got all of it squared away, and then she turns her attention to the bathroom. Everything in it goes into a garbage bag that she ties up for disposal. Who's going to want bottles of half-used shampoo and aftershave? That's probably the easiest room in the entire place.

Only then does she finally turn her attention to the closet. Hunter took the dresser out still full of clothes, and Megan told him to donate the clothing to a vets' shelter. She'll do the same with most of what's in the closet too…. once she can make herself open the door.


Megan leaves the room and heads for the kitchen. In the refrigerator are several wine coolers and a couple of beers that she specifically left. Sinking down to sit on the kitchen floor with one of the stupid fruity little beer-like beverages that Auggie always laughed at when she drank them, Megan tips her head back against the cabinet and stares at the ceiling.

"Perfectly boring, you said," she murmurs softly into the still apartment. "If you were standing in front of me this very second, I would deck you in the mouth, August." She takes a long swallow of the wine cooler — the small amount of alcohol in it won't make her drunk, but then again… she doesn't want that. She'll wake up on the floor of Auggie's apartment in the morning if she gets smashed, and that'll make it a hundred… a million times harder. As if it's not hard enough. She really wants a cigarette. She wants one so bad she can feel the shakes coming on … and that just pisses her off. She swore she was not going to get hooked on those goddamn things again, and she's not going to. She sits in that kitchen and uses the wine coolers to stave off the urge until she finally has to push herself to her feet. "All right, Young. Get to it, this isn't getting done with you sitting here."

She leaves the empties on the counter and heads back into the bedroom, squaring her shoulders as she goes. Once more standing in front of the closet door, Megan hesitates. And finally she reaches out to open the damn thing gingerly, as if Auggie's going to jump out at her and scare the shit out of her…. tell her it's all been a big practical joke. For just a half of a moment, she lets herself believe it, psyches herself up for it. Only to be let down when it doesn't happen.

The scent of the man wafts out of the closet. She's never really noticed what a haven of smell the closet really is until now. She inhales deeply, closing her eyes to try to remember the scent, to memorize it. Blue eyes open again and take in the sight inside. All of the clothes hanging neatly on their hangars. Still more of his ubiquitous hats on hooks on the back of the door. All his shoes neatly lined up on the bottom. Flight suits front and center along with camo pants because… well, they're comfortably broken in. Dress shirts and casual shirts all organized and pressed. You can take the man out of the military, but not the military out of the man, she muses with a small smile.

Her hand reaches out of its own volition to run a fingertip along the ever-so-pressed-and-starched row of clothing, setting them to swinging gently. Slacks peep out from their hangars as clothing moves, and at the back of the closet are a couple of empty garment bags for travel. There are shelves on the right of the closet that contain his 'American clothes' — several pairs of baggy, comfy jeans and some sweatshirts. On one of the shelves is the stack of T-shirts Auggie used beneath his flight suits, and it's here that her hand stops, stroking lightly.

Fighting the rush of tears, Megan forces herself back to the task at hand. First things first…

All of his shoes into a couple of large boxes. All the casual clothes into one set of bags, marked 'casual' and all his nicer clothes into another set marked 'dressy,' his hats into yet a third — these she'll take to a veteran's shelter. His flight suits all go into a fourth bag — this one will go back to Chicago Air for if any of the other pilots want them. The T-shirts, though…. she can't bring herself to put them in a bag.

With every other bit of of August White's extraordinarily ordinary life packed away, only now does Megan allow the relentless undertow of grief to drag her down into a tidal wave of tears. She does, indeed, fall asleep on the floor of the apartment with her face hidden in a pillow of T-shirts that smell of a man not coming home again.

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