I thought I heard children's laughter from the dining room but it was just mother chattering on the phone. I suppose it's better than the silent drinking, but I'm uncomfortably aware of how fragile those moments really are. I've never seen her fall apart, but for as long as I can remember she's slowly evaporated, which in a way is so much worse.
We've never talked about it of course, it would be useless even if I wanted to. I know that something happened to her years ago, on that trip with my father, but he protected her and kept quiet. All I have now are the little traces and clues she left in her diary.
Today we stopped for an hour at a small station somewhere close to the end of the world. We weren't allowed to go out so we watched the people through our smudged windows. I saw a family, a mother and a father with their little daughter, and I started to cry. T asked me what was wrong but I couldn't bear to tell him. I know how he left his family behind too, and I have no right to be more tormented by it than him. What I'm certain of however, what I saw so clearly through that window, is that I never want to put a child into this world. I could never live with the notion that some day they would be left all alone.