Somehow being without him hadn’t made the world stop as she’d secretly suspected it might. Certainly the view out the window seemed dimmer, the sun and sky lacked luster, but the world carried on, dragging her along however unwillingly. Nearly every other day someone or other was phoning to chat or showing up, they said, because there was a new show or a restaurant they wanted to try or for no discernible reason at all. Keeping her busy. When they would leave, a hard smile would cross her lips as she thought how proud they must be of themselves to be saving her.
Then she would go to bed. In the dark, the still, the quiet, the bed felt gaping and cold. She snatched at the sheets, crumpled them in her fists, buried her head in the crevice between mattress and pillows, tossed, turned, ached with a nameless hollow pain. All day she waited, longing to be senseless, slumbering, curled and hiding- alone. She knew it was childish and self-indulgent. She felt entitled to it and disgusted by it. It turned out she wasn’t at all who she had thought she was, no independent Athena.