Even as an adult the shadows strangled the light. It had been three years into their marriage, before Laura could sleep with it off.
The sound of his voice followed, she joined him in the kitchen. Martin had already made a cup of tea. From the biscuit tin, he brought out a full packet of digestives. Six were arranged on the plate. Comfort food. They would probably go straight to her hips, but a shot of sugar was just what she needed.
‘Tabitha go off okay?’ Martin asked.
‘Out like a light, Mum wore her out. Sorry about earlier.’ Laura said.
‘You never raise your voice, not even when its deserved.’
‘It’s already forgotten.’
Laura removed a packet of mirtazapine from a high cupboard. The foil pushed gently back the tablet sat on her hand. Since she was eighteen, Laura relied on them to help her sleep.
‘You look exhausted.’
‘I might have an early night like you suggested,’ Laura took it with a glass of water. Away from little hands, she replaced the box.
‘You asked me to remind you about your doctor’s appointment next week.’ Martin said.
‘He’ll probably want me to try and come off the tablets again.’
‘Why don’t you try?’
Laura didn’t want to. Without them she crumbled. Her mood dipped and rose like a rollercoaster at Thorpe Park. Tabitha deserved better than a mother with depression.
‘How was your mum?’
‘Mum said she was okay, but she’s lost weight.’
The warmth of her mug slid through to Laura’s cold hands. She rubbed at the stain on the side with her short nails. Bitten just below the water line, it was another habit she couldn’t break.
‘Hear me out Laura, maybe you should make a clean break with your Mum. It’s like this all the time.’
‘Tabitha is close with her.’
‘Only because of you. Let’s face it you’ll probably get a phone call from your mum tomorrow.’
‘If only I apologised to my father liked she asked me.’
‘Do you really want to do that?’
Laura shook her head, and her empty cup was thrown into the sink. ‘No, he wouldn’t accept it if I did.’