Susie glanced at her lap

Susie glanced at her lap, then up at her computer screen. While others were tapping away at laptops and i-pads, Susie stuck with her hard-drive, monitor and keyboard. All together in one place, large, reliable and comforting. She could listen to music, answer emails from a dozen different accounts and she didn’t need to learn how to thumb text or swipe. It was a comfort, knowing that traditional typing, while no longer that hard-edged tapping, was still required on the traditional keyboard.

And yet…

She looked out of the window to the gardens below where kids were playing and screaming happily, and dog walkers, taking advantage of a shaft of hot, bright summer between the showers, were idling at the river banks, conferring about best walks or whistling to their muddy, joyous charges, “Come on, Becka…! Benjy, Heel…!!!” It would been nice to join them, if only she could – if only…

But what is so hard about climbing downstairs? Putting on a light raincoat and skiffing one step at a time out into the open air? Why was that such a challenge? Okay so the apartment where Susie lived had an old-fashioned, spiral staircase, the steps of which were so worn, they dipped in the middle; it was dark and musty; but that wasn’t the issue, not really.

It was the effort, with no guarantee that at the end of it, she might not end up slipping anyway, falling headlong into the mud, tumbling over her walking stick and making a darn nuisance of herself. Better to stay out of the way… Having decided, Susie, contrary to the last, recognised the unspoken challenge and stood up, outraged by the perfidy, the sheer nerve of her own thoughts. How dare they condemn her to live always alone, here in this – admittedly elegant – living-room?

(to be continued)

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