I am not for certain, but I think Lucille died. Lucille was my apartment complex's onsite manager. Right after the new year, we residents received a notice on our doors that said we were to mail our rent checks in due to Lucille being in the hospital. This actually did not surprise me, as every time I dropped off my rent to her she was either doing her breathing treatment or smoking a cigarette.

I can't say for sure how old she was, but the smoking probably aged her. Although I didn't often see her, her door was usually open and when I passed by she'd call out a hello to me. I said maybe a handful of sentences to her in all the time I've lived here. I feel that there was a slight reverance surrounding her as there often is with the elderly. She was neither friendly nor mean. She was neither nosy nor unknowing. Strangely enough, she seemed both caring and blase.

In recent weeks, the maintenance team has come into clean out her apartment. I wasn't home to see her things carried out, but I did see today carpet being replaced. I desperately wanted to ask if she indeed had passed away, but honestly, what business is it of mine?

In my head, I think she had lung cancer. I think she smoked those cigarettes out of spite, to go down kicking, to give a big 'suck it' to the world while she enjoyed afternoons of watching soap operas in her sweatshirts and turtlenecks and chatting with neighbors. In my mind, I'd like to think following her hospital stay, she decided to move back home to live with her family. Or, pack everything up to go live by the beach.

In the time she has been gone, every time I pass her door, I wonder where she went. Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions as to what might have happened, but whatever did and wherever she is, I hope she is happy.


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