“You have to get up, Sappho,” she repeated. “I can’t let you lay here any longer. There’s a life out there which is passing you by, and all I’m doing is helping you shut it out.”
She seemed frustrated, annoyed even, as she dragged the bedding off the mattress and grabbed a hold of my shoulders and stared me in the face. I took a deep breath in, stared back at her with a hardened expression, and she let go and threw some clothes at me.
“Get dressed,” she ordered, and stormed out of the room.
My body felt foreign, the routine of dressing myself almost forgotten and clumsy. With shaking hands, I buttoned up my shirt and forced my legs into my jeans. I slipped my feet into thick socks, and with padded steps, made my way uneasily down the stairs, clutching tightly on to the polished wooden bannister. Theo was in the kitchen, resolute and practically neck deep in the saucepan she was stirring on the hob. Either she didn’t notice me standing in the doorway, or she didn’t want to; and so I went to her coat in the hall and rifled through the pockets. All there was in there was shopping lists, a button, her purse, a packet of cigarettes and an elastic band. I couldn’t find the key, but it was worth a try; and upon a moment’s reflection, I grabbed the cigarettes and went outside.