It’s always a balancing act; her mood flickers across the full spectrum in response to words or deeds imperceptible to most of us.
You learn to tip-toe around her, to cajole, reassure or sometimes just step back for a short while, give some space. Good friends do this; it becomes second nature.
It becomes wearing too, and though friendship is a slow-burning flame – exasperation and lassitude eventually snuff it out. The others make their excuses, slipping away for ever, shoulders raised, palms upturned.
You realise there was a moment, and you missed it.
Now you cannot be the last to leave.
The last Friday Fictioneers of the summer of 2020. How time flies even when you’re not having fun. Thanks to Rochelle for leading this international group through all seasons, all eventualities.