Deep within the house, a door slammed. The air shifted. Still as a statue, I strained to listen. Nothing but the low hum of the ducted
Then the rapid-fire tap, tap, tap of Kirsten’s kitten heels on the terracotta tiles. Someone was in for it. Eyes tightly shut, I clutched a handful of bedspread and braced myself for the shriek that would follow.
It came right on cue. ‘Anthony! This time your mother has gone too far.’
Ah, it was me this time. Had I forgotten to bring in the washing? Unpack the dishwasher? Wipe up my toast crumbs? How long did I have before the inevitable summons to my son’s study? His reprimand followed by my contrition. Then there’d be the usual platitudes from him. After that his shoulders would soften, his mouth become less pinched, because his duty had been done.
Lying there on the bed, quiet as a mouse, I imagined sinking into the mattress and disappearing altogether…