Every thought hurt.
Face under pillow, face down in pillow, face buried in blanket or with pillow tucked under one arm. Not one of her innumerable tosses excised a pain no nerve signalled.
Food, she avoided. She counted days to her last meal, not as motivation to mitigate hunger, but in glee over her self-imposed snookery.
She worried, over so many things.
Morning switched on the local world. People readied children and themselves for their disparate days. Through this environment she navigated well enough, walled away behind a thinning façade. None caught her hidden volatility, even in awareness of greater issues.
Working out of home, she enjoyed six hours of free time before the first returnee. She settled into her home office, place of floor files unreturned to alphabetised drawers. Floor files, where the guts of each spilled outward and replaced underlying ceramic tile, forming a loose mat of pressed pulp stepped upon by she, the dog, and the cat, until the lot mixed into a paper stew near impossible to sort into correct order.
A stack of files sat on her desk, somehow rescued from the morass splayed at her feet. A foot or better in height, the rescued reflected lost optimism consigned to another time, when once she functioned and accomplished.
A phone rang, her reluctant answer a litany of rote excuses too often said. Words untrue evolved into words ignored at call’s end, the pattern creating an unwitting template for each subsequent call.
Eyes focused on the monitor. Fingers typed from fantasy, her words a reverse mirage into which she jumped for escape from her dysfunctional, depressive reality. Perhaps it saved her life.
Thirty months or nine hundred and twelve days, seems a blink of an eye to the happy, a term in hell for the lost.