Written by Fantasy Girl
Tea will be served at precisely 7.24 pm, just as it is every evening. The table will be set for three around the small square at which they will eat. Three meals will be put on the place mats. Only one person will be there. Only one person will eat.
She never changed her routine, even after the incident. She still bought clothes for the other two. She still washed them. She still ironed them. She would even put them away for them. She would have conversations, seemingly with herself; about what they should have for dinner, about what was on telly that night, or what film they should go see at the weekend. Nothing changed. It never changed.
It’d been ten years since the incident, ten years since they died. The car went under. She was the only one to get out. Why couldn’t she save them? Why didn’t they let her die too? Because she’s a survivor, that’s why. She had always been a survivor – when her parents died, when her husband and child died… funnily enough in the same way.
Or maybe that was the point – that she was meant to be alone – that they were all meant to die, and she was meant to survive? But what kind of survival is this? Living in the past, believing they are still alive, believing that they will one day be home for dinner.
Because that’s why she sets the table, you know, not because she doesn’t know they’re dead. Of course she knows. But because she believes that one day they will return, and be home at 7.24 pm for dinner. And maybe they will bring mum and dad too… maybe she needs a bigger table.