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#68: Silence

#68: Silence
Odd Spot - The Age - 16/3/2022

The silence fills the house to bursting point. Grace feels the weight of it. Not having Peter or the kids in the house unnerves her to where she feels panic rising in her.

She takes a shower, just to deaden the nothingness. As the water drowns her anxiety, she tries to recall the last time when she had the house to herself. The answer is never.

She didn't know why she said yes to them camping. Certainly she isn't sure why she said she'd let it be a father thing. Let Peter deal with the dirt and that smell of burnt wood. She hates the way it lingers, infesting your dreams. And how dirt entrusts it deep under your fingernails.

No, thank you.

But then again, this silence descends on her the moment she'd out of the shower. The sound of the towel scraping against her skin does nothing to relieve her loneliness. What would she ever do without her family? What could she do when her entire identity was that of mother and wife?

She drops the towel and looks at herself in the mirror. Staring back is familiar, and yet unknowable at the same time. Who has she become? Is it enough to be Peter's wife and Matilda's and Rory's mother? What ever happened to Grace, the girl who wanted to be see the world, wanted to feel the sand squelch between her toes?

She regrets not going with them now. There is no difference between feeling sand or dust if you have your eyes closed. At least she would have heard those sounds that give her joy and purpose.