She was pregnant. She was huge and fed up with it. A long-planned child, five years long-planned, and all the while they had worked, and saved, and made-do, and built their nest. The baby’s time was drawing near – but slowly so…so slowly. She counted two months to go, three had she known this baby was going to be late.
But she didn’t know that then.
There was much she didn’t know then. Like how this baby was the first, but the next one would be the last.
And she didn’t know then that they would move from the little house they’d bought as newly-weds – their first real home – to the small, but bigger, barely affordable one in a tidy family-centric suburb, close to schools, and shops, and parks, and public transport.
If she’d seen into the future she would have known her children were to grow into strong and good people. In ten years her father would be gone. In fifteen she would be divorced. In twenty she would lose her mother, and finally, her health.
Every laugh, every tear, every step along the road moving her inexorably into the future.
The future is a real place, hidden behind a sturdy, iron-banded door. Impenetrable, until it springs open of its own accord. After a lifetime of mistakes and dreams, loss and disappointment; in faded blonde beauty, she approached the door.
It beckoned her forward and she stepped in, shiny-eyed with hope, then broken: there was nothing there for her.
That was when the days began to slow again – slow so, so slow. She reflects, remembers, and does she, in the loneliness of her room, cat on her knee, surrounded by her small treasures, recall that time when she did not think of the future because the future did not matter?
But the future does matter. It matters when it arrives, as it never mattered then.
The future, now, and described in the topography of her face. It mocks; how ironic, to arrive in the future and discover there is no future.
So she waits.