Silence presses down on her tiny room as though the damp is soaking sound from the air.
“Will you speak to me?” I try to keep my voice level.
My only answer is a church bell striking midday. A shaft of light sneaks round the curtain, shimmering motes of dust in the air.
The walls are closing in on me. I try to jerk the curtain open, but it’s nailed to the window frame.
“Can’t you bear to let any light in here?” I ask.
She waves a hand. I’m not sure if it’s an answer or a dismissal.
“We don’t have to wait for him,” I say. “We could just go. Now. Together.”
I don’t expect her to agree, but it might shock her into speaking if only to refuse. All I get is a minute shake of her head.
I bend down to pick up one of the shoes her husband’s return will fill. I want to throw it through the window. I put it back.
“Do you want me to go?” I ask.
“Yes,” she says.