The light bulb in the bedside lamp needs changing, she notes. Socks. Sweaters. Tee-shirts.
The drawer sticks – it always sticks – emery paper – we have some, I think. Underwear goes in the top drawer –
She pauses for a moment. What day is it? Thursday? If it’s Thursday then she needn’t collect Josh from school until - Four? – Four -Thirty?
Socks. Sweaters. Tee-shirts. Underwear goes in the top drawer. Gracie is at the dentist tomorrow and Josh keeps asking about having a sleepover. Not this weekend – Sam’s playing rugby. Maybe next week? But not on a school night.
She should vacuum, check the washing, if it’s dry then she could put some bedding through, check the towels in the bathroom. Soap, do we need more soap?
She is not still, she is never still. Stooping, gathering, shifting, folding. She sighs as she moves. She sounds like her mother, she notes.
Socks, sweaters –
Struck by a sudden wave of nausea, she sits on the bed, twisting Sam’s favourite blue tee-shirt in her hands, her palms sweating. When did I last eat? Breakfast? Breakfast was hours ago. Half a slice of toast and strong black coffee.
What day is it?
She sits silently, gazing through the bedroom window at the dull grey clouds. Her mother has been dead now for a little over a year. A small, sweet stoical woman, dead of a disease she didn’t want a fuss about.
She sighs. Four? Or Four- Thirty?
In the end it seems the simplest thing to do. She stands, reaches up to the top of the wardrobe and hauls down her faded blue rucksack. Methodically, she begins to pack.