Family, Fiction, Melbourne, Relationship and marriage, Writing

The Quiet Life

The rain pelts against the glass. Erin leans her head against the window, stares as the droplets trickle in front of her eyes. She lifts a finger, traces one all the way from the top of the window frame to the lower frame, at hip height.

‘Come on Erin,’ she says. ‘What’ll you do today?’

There’s not much she can do. Not with lockdown. Not with weather like this. The gutter outside is full, water flowing and gathering at the stormwater drain, just down from her house.

Across the road, Erin sees her neighbour, Rosette open her front door and collect her newspaper. She pauses when they make eye contact; Erin lifts her hand in a wave. Rosette jogs over, raps on the door knocker.

Erin sighs; opens the door. ‘Come in, Rosette.’

No one is supposed to have visitors in the home. But Erin, well she’s lonely, and one cuppa with Rosette won’t hurt.

‘I’ll put the kettle on.’

‘No, don’t bother, Erin. I can’t stay.’ She smiles. ‘I’m going to the supermarket later this morning. Anything you need?’

Heaps. A full grocery shop, but Erin can’t expect her neighbour to do that for her.

‘Thanks, but I’m fine. I’ve just put in an order online.’ That’s a lie, but Erin makes a mental note to do so, as soon as Rosette leaves.

‘Oh, OK, then.’ Rosette lingers.

‘You alright?’

Rosette nods. ‘Just let me know if you need anything. Promise?’

‘Definitely. I’ve got your number on the fridge in the kitchen. And it’s in my mobile contacts as well.’

Erin opens the door for Rosette to leave.

Rosette pauses in the doorway. ‘God, it’s raining cats and dogs out there.’

Erin chuckles. The idiom was her grandfather’s favourite, but she’s never understood it. It always fills her with a warm glow, like Grandad is still alive, and they’re working in his garden. Erin spent hours by his side as a child. He’d lovingly show her how to care for the soil, plant vegetables, and which were the weeds to pull out. Oh, how she misses her family.

‘It sure is,’ she says to Rosette.

Erin closes the door once Rosette is safely on her verandah. She sits in her plush armchair, picks up her book, grocery shop already forgotten, and settles in for another day of nothingness.

Photo by Xianyu hao on Unsplash

9 thoughts on “The Quiet Life”

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