Sarah had won. Somehow, some way, she’d overcome it all. Fought and scraped her way through everything and everyone that stood in her way. Her daughter was safe. She’d found her family. She’d finally reached it, her very own happy ending.
This was it.
All there was.
All there would ever be.
At the end of each day, she would take a look at herself in the mirror. Over time, her face began to change. Every day, one step closer to how Beth looked on that train platform. Nothing left. Hollowed out.
What, you think you have it bad? Get your shit together.
Sometimes she could still hear her voice in her head. Whatever the hell it was, a mysterious connection or proof that she was losing her mind, a piece of Beth never left her.
“I’m fine,” Sarah muttered. Because talking to ghosts meant she was fine.
You better be.
Sarah laughed, bitter.
I didn’t die so you could sit around feeling sorry for yourself.
“Why don’t you cut the sanctimonious shit?” Sarah spat. “Everyone acts like you’re some bloody hero. Not to me.”
Oh, here we go. Tell me how you really feel.
“You died because you couldn’t handle your own shit!” Sarah screamed into the emptiness.
I was protecting you.
“You gave up , and you left your sisters to pick up the pieces of your miserable life! I never asked for this! I never asked for any of this!”
Then there was silence. Maybe there had always been silence.
“Mum?” a voice called from the other side of the door. “Are you okay?”
“Sorry, Monkey,” Sarah said. She bit her lip to keep from crying. “I’m okay.”
She closed her eyes, breathed deep, let herself go numb. She opened the door and stepped outside.