Silence may be the absence of sound, but this particular silence was full and heavy, filling the house from top to bottom. The still air seemed to cling to the body, making each step she took feel like an extraordinary effort that robbed her of her already depleted strength.
No one had bothered to open the curtains for days. She took it upon herself to pull them back at least partially in the front room. A fine layer of dust had settled on the furniture, revealed in the pale light that rudely burst in, challenging the somber mood.
Perching on the edge of the sofa, she stared out the window and noted that the gardener had come by to cut the grass. She didn’t remember paying him. He must have known this wasn’t the time to come for payment. Who told him? No matter. She was grateful he had tended to the lawn and stayed discreetly away. She made a mental note to pay him extra next week.
Rising, she let the curtains fall back again to block out the light. It was too early. She didn’t want to let anything from the outside in. Not yet.