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Frank and Margaret

Page 3

Peter Symons

At the front door, he placed the key in the lock, and carefully turned it. It was dark inside and Frank was troubled as he felt the silence as he stepped into the house. He was not expecting it inside the house. He made his way slowly to the bedroom. It was in the bedroom where the silence was strongest. He saw his wife lying asleep on their bed. She was lying on her side with her back toward him. He walked through the silence to the bed. Without waking her, he took off his shoes and jumper and slipped in beside her.

Under the doona, he felt the silence between them. He reached towards Margaret and noticed his old, old hands. He reached these hands towards his wife but the silence stopped them. He moved his hands back and did his best to sleep.

Frank awoke a few hours later, still in his clothes. His wife, his Margaret, was asleep next to him. The silence, a heavy force during the night, seemed to be lighter in the morning. Margaret shifted and started to wake. When she turned to face him she did not seem to be surprised to see him. Her eyes were soft and Frank noticed the deep lines around them. Margaret lifted her hands and placed them carefully on her husband’s face. Frank felt the silence between them. He had been married to his wife for forty five years.

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