Weekends here are usually all but silent with the three of us - mother, Chloe and I - under the same roof, but this January I've had to hold my breath and listen to know I'm not alone. Mother went away after New Year's and hasn't called since, Chloe spends most of her time in bed with The Brothers Karamazov and a bottle of rum. We run into each other in the kitchen, she avoids eye contact and dresses in brighter shades of pink than what seems healthy.
Late Sunday I'm alone on the balcony when she comes up behind me, smells my hair and puts her little hand on my shoulder. We're frozen like an altarpiece for minutes in the winter air, "I can't talk to you about him" she says and I'm unable to feel my feet against the cement. She means her father and she means that hers is still alive. I'm not supposed to ask so I don't, all I hear now is the traffic on Fifth Avenue and she promised to call me from work.