The room was quiet again.
The boxes were back.
Shadows crowded against the walls, huddled together, bulky and tied for space. A naked old hat stand loitered awkwardly in one corner; the sewing machine Mrs Kaminogis ex-mother-in-law had once gifted her with stood as unused as it had ever been underneath a worn white sheet. A faded Polaroid of a six-year-old Haruka dressed as a poisonous mushroom in an old school play peeked timidly out of an overstuffed carrier bag.
Lost to sight, the writing desk was buried somewhere under a box of assorted batteries, a collection of defunct video and cassette tapes, a stereo that had been manufactured in the days before Compact Disk. A lacquered wooden chest, dignified survivor of a war fought not so long ago really, housed the black kimono that hadnt seen an airing since grandma Kaminogis funeral. Next to that sat the casket of Princess dolls tucked neatly away for their display next year.
A large woo