Lydia walked up the stairs wearily, a sheaf of dark hair covering her face like a raven’s wing. “Brian?” she called out as she reached the second landing. Her voice echoed back, the sound of it mocking to her ears.
She shrugged out of her coat as she walked into the kitchen and noticed the answering machine blinking red. She rushed towards it, leaving her coat draped over a chair. This was uncharacteristic of her; she was usually the one to straighten frames, to pick up Brian’s dirty socks and make sure everything was in the right place. But today Lydia was feeling decidedly un-Lydia-like. She pressed play and stood breathless by the machine, wide eyes unblinking.
First there was a crackle of static and then a voice. “Lydia? It’s your mother…”
Disappointment crashed over her like a wave. She sank into a chair. That was when the electricity went out. She sat there in the dark for maybe an hour, maybe more. Finally understanding for the first time, seeing what she’d been too blind to see before.