The Light

Waiting rooms are always the worst, she thought. This one was at least nice. Nice. And clean. Tidy, airy, bright with big windows letting in the sunshine reflected from the cars that sat waiting for owners who will have changed. Small changes, changes that the lolloping, dozy cars would never notice. Some of the changes would be in the mind, anyway. Knowledge, certainty, fear.

Hope, too. Hope had its claim in these dry spaces between tears. Hope sat at your side in the stiff chairs and held your hand on the way back to the car. There would be talk about percentages and long term survival rates. Hope would breathe gently on those tiny glowing dots and its eyes would glitter with the sparks. Hope would tell you – it’s fine, everything is fine.

Hope, the monster; Hope, Grendel, enraged by the debauchery of your sadness.

She moved from the window. The light was so bright it was giving her a headache. Everything gave her a headache. She put on sunglasses, broad fly-eyes that compressed the room into twin circles. When the man walked in to talk to her, his reflected self swam in the centre of a dark pool. He could not see her eyes. For that she was thankful.

She walked back to her car. Hope’s soft hand reached for hers and she found its touch revolting.

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