There's a certain beauty to how mother's half empty liquor bottles glow like amber in 8 a.m. sunshine. I sometimes get up early to have breakfast with Chloe before she disappears to the agency downtown. She came back to me at the end of summer but something was different in the way she looked over her shoulder when we walked together, arm in arm.
It's autumn now, she stills pours brandy in her morning coffee but less so than before. "It's C" she says in a resigned exhalation when I ask. She always uses his first name when she talks about him, never father or dad, as if those words would cut her tongue if she spoke them.
In a few hours I will hear her keys in the lock again, her heels making music on the hallway marble, her coat thrown carelessly on my bed. She will ask me to smoke with her on the balcony and the cool winds will dance under our dresses. Everything that begins must come to an end, even for us, but not just yet unless we let it.