Settled Dust

Takes a lot to get me to notice things. I’m hoovering the rug one morning and it didn’t even occur to me that there was no table on it. What had happened to the coffee table? Then I started thinking maybe we’d never had a coffee table but no, there were the dents in the pile although they were fading and filled with dust.

It’s two in the morning when I notice I’m alone. I wake with a start and there’s just an empty bed next to me. Not even a pillow, and it’s ice cold. I call Lizzie’s name, but the house is quiet – layers of silence caught in the dust I spend all day vacuuming. I cry then, and I’m not sure why.

The next day is fine. I notice that the coffee table is gone, which is odd but doesn’t seem important. I suck up the dust in the faint dents it has left, and empty the hoover bag into the bin. It’s full. I call back into the house, ask Lizzie if the bin men have been this week. She doesn’t answer, oh well. I reach in to see if I can push the rubbish down and cut myself on a large piece of broken glass.

I’m hoovering the rug when the knock at the door comes. I shout for Lizzie, see if she can answer it but she doesn’t hear me. When I open the door it’s the police. “Lizzie?” I call.

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