It was impossible. I still couldn’t believe it. Dumping my suitcase I went through to the kitchen.
The table bore the evidence of breakfast, a half-eaten slice of toast, an egg-stained plate and a coffee cup, the remains now slick with age. My laptop, the battery long spent, was open beside my plate, and the kitchen blinds were still closed; it had been a week ago, and dawn was just breaking when I’d received the news of my sister’s death.
That’s the way you’re funnelled from one life into another; the changes wrought in a heartbeat whilst you’re happily preoccupied elsewhere. How could I not have known? Why hadn’t there been a blinding moment of revelation at the moment of her death? She was my twin after all; twins have special bonds, don’t they?
My parents had been devastated; I’d stayed a few days after the funeral, trying to craft a survival plan for them from the white-heat of their loss. It wouldn’t work; neither of them was strong, either physically or mentally. Sometimes I wondered whether Tamsin and I hadn’t leeched every bit of vitality out of them as we’d grown up; we’d not been easy kids.
Whilst the kettle boiled I plugged in the laptop. My inbox was full of condolences; I didn’t read them, just scanned the names. There were people missing from the list, people who didn’t know. I’d contacted many, but dozens remained in ignorance. Or perhaps they knew, and just didn’t know what to say.
The coffee was strong, reviving me quickly. I logged onto Facebook and quickly scanned through the accumulated dross. Crazy animal posters, pictures of friends enjoying their lives whilst I’d staggered through my loss.
My ‘Friends’ list was scattered with green dots; this was obviously a popular time to check out the site. I realised I could kill several birds with one stone here, and post the bad news for those who didn’t know, whilst signalling to the others that I was back into talking territory.
I logged onto my timeline and typed quickly.
“Hi guys, just back from Tamsin’s funeral. Thanks to those who sent flowers, and for those who didn’t know, sorry to break it in this way. She died in a hit and run accident ten days ago. See you around when I’ve got my act together.”
I posted it, feeling like I’d thrown a stone into the middle of a smooth pond – I could imagine the waves spreading out in a circle, actively at first and then gently tailing away until Tamsin’s death was nothing more than a ripple in people’s lives.
I bent my head and cried. Again.
Some minutes later an electronic tinkle, rather like a wind-chime, indicated the first of the instant messages. This would be one of the brave. Was I ready for this? Ready to step back into my life?
I moved the mouse.
Only one green dot remained.
Next to Tamsin’s name.
“Not an accident.”
This week’s speakeasy challenge (courtesy of last week’s winner, Suzanne) began with the line “It was impossible” and had to bear some reference to the photo below: