Empty silence. It enters my subconscious and reminds me to breathe. In and out, it sighs in my ear. Don't forget.

A whisper of wind across the window and a bird song, then the unmistakeable whirr of a kettle boiling somewhere in the distance. My peace is destroyed, yet I cannot open my eyes. It can't be long now, I tell myself. Only a few more moments.

The alarm rings, and I am already awake. I slam it quickly, not wanting to wake you, and sit up mechanically to stare at the wall. White on white, with a border of white. Finding patterns in the wall void of all texture amuses me for a moment, as I steel myself for the unavoidable. I close my eyes and remember the song of the silence. Remember: in and out.

I turn my head and watch you sleep. You look exactly the same as I remember. The same as you were when I gave you your goodnight kiss. The same as you were when I wished you sweet dreams. But you could be so different today. Today is filled with promise; hope and anticipation. Yet…

My eyes fill with tears and my routine has begun. Pulling a dressing gown off the floor I walk slowly to the kitchen, my aching limbs moving reluctantly. Each step is laboured and precise, structured and practised. I move quietly, not wanting to wake you, avoiding the spots where I know the house speaks to me. Each creak of the floor board is deafening in the early morning silence, but my practised journey knows where to step.

I am walking through time, photos of the past slowly moving into the present. The story is predictable and conventional, but each photo holds a thousand memories and more emotions than I thought it was possible to feel. Our wedding day, our children, our children on their wedding days, our grandchildren. Each picture is a story, though the ending isn't quite legible yet.

The kitchen is more of the same – white on white. I fumble for the kettle and sigh as I watch the lorikeets on a tree outside. You used to put food out for them, I remember. Now only I hold that memory to the fore – you have it locked up somewhere in your subconscious. I wonder if it will make an appearance today. The kettle whistles and adds to the chorus started by the early morning silence. Remember to breathe.

The tea is made and I begin the slow journey back through time towards you. The tears are falling now, but I doubt that you will notice. You never do. Unless…

I push away the hope of a new day and pause outside the door. The wedding photo is what I watch – our wedding photo. Your eyes are filled with hope and dreams, and I wonder where you have hidden that expression. Now the norm is a vacant stare, and some fear on the days where you don't recognise me. I turn my head sharply and close my eyes. I cannot look at that photo without the tears cascading down my cheeks. Not that they weren't already. I brace myself for another day as I push open the door. I wonder what this one will hold as I remind myself to breathe.

You are sitting up this morning. Your eyes follow me as I walk to the bedside table and place the cup down. I turn to you and put on a smile, a smile that only uses my mouth.

"Good morning darling, I brought you your tea,"

You watch me carefully and I try to gauge what your reaction will be this morning. Then your face falls and my heart drops.

"Darling, why are you crying?" your question hangs in the air for a moment, and the tears fall faster. The hope I have pushed back falls into place for yes, this morning will be different.

Authors Note:

just another short piece today. some of my friends have to write a story for their english holiday homework on the topic of 'women respond when they are needed' and even though im not in that class, i figured it sounded like the most fun homework ever so i decided to give it a whirl...its not much this piece, i wrote it in about 45 minutes a couple of nights back, but i figured i'd put it up here. i hope you liked it :D

have a happy day