She stood naked at the kitchen sink: strong legs, high breasts, bright auburn hair cloaking her back. She’d removed her filthy clothes to soak them in hot water. Cleaning the place from top to bottom had taken all day, but now it was spotless. Their first home together.
He came home in his dinner jacket; shockingly handsome. Pulled her to him and kissed her. Lifted her in his stiff-jacketed arms and carried her up the bare, steep stairs to the bedroom. Their bedroom.
‘Emily, are you in there?’
He laid her on the bed, the bed she’d made up that morning with new linen, fresh and smooth. He stood in front of her while he took off his clothes. Dropped them on the swept wooden boards. Broad shoulders, little curls of hair on his chest. Then climbed beside her. Took her face in his hands and kissed her eyelids, kissed her nose, kissed her mouth.
‘Emily, we’ll have to break down the door.’
She didn’t care. She felt no pain. Jack filled her vision and her mind as he made love to her, that first night in their new home. The home she still lived in.
‘She’s had a bad fall.’
‘No wonder – look at those stairs. Poor old biddy should be in an old folks’ home.’
‘Is there a pulse?’
Of course there wasn’t a pulse. Her heart was with Jack, always. He stood, waiting for her, arms held out. And she went to him.