As soon as he arrived, she would be able to make her exit.
Take time for herself. Have a moment of calm.
She was oh-so-tired. She urged him on.
“On my way,” he said. “A few more minutes and I’ll come.”
The minutes then the hours ticked their slow molasses of seconds. Time puddled, sticky, in her mind.
Around her the demands of life continued and her body obeyed. Her hands found zippers and did and undid buttons and washed dishes and stirred pots and hung wet linens and kneaded dough and bandaged a skinned knee and broke up fights and interrupted arguments. Her mouth managed to answer questions she did not remember being asked.
At some point her eyes no longer rose to check the clock. The sinking feeling curled up and took residence inside her gut.
She fed. She bathed. She put to bed.
She rocked. She soothed. Not knowing what she said.
As dark deepened and the night grew long, she knew.
He would not arrive.
There will be only more to overcome.