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Photo by Camille Brodard ~ Kmile Feminine Creative Designer on Unsplash

Sarah is leaving. We noticed the UHaul parked in the driveway when we got back from Mexico. I was startled, but didn’t take the time to formulate any thoughts about it. Nina said, “Maybe they’re moving.” That didn’t seem right. The UHaul was small. She and Carlos couldn’t fit everything into that. And the house hadn’t been for sale. And besides, where would they go in the middle of a pandemic?

Returning from my walk, I saw a guy half-hidden behind the open back door of the UHaul. I thought it might be Sarah’s husband Carlos, so I approached. …

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Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

Dear Emily,

I don’t think you understand. I’ve told you I can’t talk to you on the phone. So please stop trying to call me. I will not answer. We always fight. I’ve also told you, I like my life just as it is. You don’t seem to get it. Some people can be happy with less. I have everything I want or need. I get to swim with turtles, for Christ’s sake! And I can afford it here. So, please stop asking me to make my life look more like yours. I don’t want that!

Love, Tori

Dear Tori,

Thanks for your letter. …

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Photo by Doug Maloney on Unsplash

At night, I would often be woken by a train’s whistle, drifting up from the flatlands of Oakland. Gradually, the sound of metal wheels on the track would also make their way to me, a lulling, whispering, rhythmic click-click-clack, click-click-clack.

Once the train had passed, and the night once more settled, I’d remain awake, my eyes fastened to a ceiling I couldn’t see. …


Christiana White

I write personal essays about food, travel, love, loss — the viscera of life. Currently at work on a memoir. Visit me at

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