House For Sale
Published:A short story published in the Dublin Review
She made herself a cup of tea and came and sat in the armchair beside the fire. She turned on the radio but they were reading sports results and she turned it off. On going upstairs, she found that the boys were sound asleep and she stood watching them before closing the door and leaving them to the night. Downstairs, she wondered if there was something she could watch on the television. She went over and turned it on and waited for the picture to appear. How would she fill these hours? Just then she would have given anything to be back on the train, back walking the streets of Dublin. When the television came on it was an American comedy. She watched it for a few moments but the canned laughter irritated her and she turned it off. The house was silent now except for the cracking of wood in the fireplace.
She had bought a book in Dublin, a paperback, something that had looked interesting but she had known nothing about. She could not remember what had made her buy it. She went out to the kitchen and searched for it in her bag. When she brought it into the room, she turned on the reading lamp and turned off the main light and relished the shadows and soft light which made the room seem more cosy and comfortable. As soon as she opened the book she left it down again. She closed her eyes. In future, she thought, she would learn not to answer the door. In future, once the boys went to bed, she would have the house to herself. She would learn how to spend these hours. It would be better like that, no more visitors, and slowly, she thought, in the peace of these winter evenings, she would work out how she was going to live.