Always the fear of waiting. Will they come? Will they forget me?
They never forget, of course. Yet this feeling of dread gets stronger with every passing year, seems to grow inside her as though her brain is swelling inside her skull, pressing into it, striving to escape.
She becomes obsessed with ritual, counts her footfalls, takes notice of birds. She avoids using the verb to be in any form, as though naming a thing will give it shape, make it real.
Soon she avoids talking altogether.
But still the formless fear grows to fill her.
She becomes furtive, watchful.