It was a quilt that I bought after he broke up with me. I got up one Saturday morning and stared at the bedding surrounding me in the bed where I lost my virginity months before. Soft cotton sheets and a thick blue comforter wrapped around us when he stayed over, and that morning I knew that I couldn’t sleep in that bedding another night.
I went to Sears and wandered around the linens department. Luckily, the store was holding its annual “white sale,” and I had a Sears credit card because God knows I didn’t have the money in my bank account.
I didn’t want another comforter. Comforters are too hot sometimes no matter what the season. I wanted something home-y, something comforting, and I found a quilt. It had a star pattern of light blues and pinks and peaches on a soft, creamy background. It was perfect.
I also bought a set of smooth, crisp cream-colored sheets, but that quilt was the ultimate purchase. I bought two other quilts after that one, but neither held up like “The Rock Hill Quilt” has. One quilt that I bought right after moving back to Greenville lasted less than six months. Another quilt I purchased when I moved back out on my own again has held up okay, but not as well as The Rock Hill Quilt.
It may be only bedding, but it seems as if the patches of material have been reinforced with my stubbornness to survive, to move on, to leave the past behind — where it belongs.
Perhaps this quilt will be the one that will last for decades. It will be the roof of the makeshift tent our future children will create in the dining room. It wil be what they drag out of the linen closet to curl up in on the couch on a cold Saturday morning to watch cartooons. Perhaps it will be what they fight over when the winter nights require extra bedding.
Perhaps I put too much emphasis on a thing made of scraps and thread and stuffing, but it was such an important purchase that spring morning. It became a sign that I would eventually be okay.