The warm weight of her head against my rising and falling chest, her deep breathing in and out, her lead body as still as a starry night sky. My lips sticking against her hot, fine hair, her lashes beautifully trimming her dainty lids, her matchstick thumb resting against her cherry bottom lip. My precious two-year-old, exhausted, vulnerable, sleeping soundly on well-trodden ground, as once was the norm, probably for the very last time.
There stood a red-bricked house, semi-detached, with a golden sheen licking its exterior. Common but beautiful. I daren’t peel my floral netted curtains any further. Someone might have noticed me, thought something of me. They always had. I wondered though…who lived there? Were they happy? Rich? Poor? Lonely? I tore myself away from my single-glazed windows, where through the netting, frost clawed at the glass and sat down. Only for a moment. My back creaked as I rose from the damp sofa. Bending down took several minutes, but eventually, I got low enough to turn the gas fire on. Click. Click. Pow. Crackle. Ah, warmth. I rubbed my hands together,…