She wandered into the front room and stared at the open door of the drink’s cabinet. So many things ran at pace around her muddled head. Drink was the root of all evil – so maybe she should have a glass. Right now she wanted to feel what Thomas felt. The bitter liquid dripped down her throat. She poured out another. Her limbs felt light, almost like they didn’t exist. Yet she felt no urge to punch the sofa or scratch at Thomas’s painting. It just made her tired. After the third glass, Martha made a toast, and fell into an uneasy sleep.
Dark shadows filtered through the net curtains. Bleary eyed, Martha sat up on Thomas’s chair, and forced herself to move into the light. It would only be a couple of hours before Thomas came home. His tea needed to be ready when he did. She shut his cabinet, brought out her empty glass and walked into the bedroom.
Her diary was replaced in her underwear drawer. Carefully, she covered it over with lace knickers. A migraine nearly split her head in two. If only she could sleep for another hour, but Thomas would be home soon.
Martha kept busy around the kitchen to start tea. Everything had to be perfect that night. She even made the effort to put a fresh, white tablecloth on the dining room table. The cutlery was expertly placed and to finish a bottle of red wine was placed in the middle.
Making sure she was ready for his arrival, she dressed in his favourite pale-blue dress and perfume. She was beginning to give up on him ever coming home, when he sauntered into the front room, a bunch of red tulips in his hand. The hairs on her arms quivered, but her outward appearance remained cool and collected.
Giving his wife a glancing peck on the cheek, Thomas handed the flowers over.
‘I’ll just put these in water, and we can eat dinner before it gets cold,’ Martha said.
As usual, the sweet-scented flowers were placed with pride in the crystal vase on top of the mantelpiece. It was a noticeably quiet evening. Martha was in a world of her own. The television, on in the background, yet it wouldn’t have made a difference if it were turned off. Her mind was still in turmoil. The news heard earlier that day couldn’t be ignored.