Melbourne, July


We don’t say, what we should say

She thought to herself, “It’s 5.09pm, he’d be on the train leaving the city by now.”

If the 5.07pm left the station on time, a few minutes through the tunnel and she would be able to call. It was a cold winter day, those bleak July days in Melbourne that seem to go on forever …

He left the office, later than he would normally would. The building alarm had sounded, of course just as he turned the computer off for the day. He went to investigate, only to find a fire escape door slightly ajar. Cursing to himself, he closed it quickly and reset the system.

His wife would be waiting for him to get home, ready to hear about his day. Desperate for a connection to a world she wasn’t part of right now. She seemed so distant lately. Weeks earlier she had lost her job and as she wandered around the house in trackies and ugg boots he tried to give here the space she needed. But something had changed, and he couldn’t find the right words to say.

I know it’s much too late to try
You’re never coming home

He ran for the station, and as he leapt through the doors as they were closing, considered how thankful he was for this life they had created together. One day, he would share the story of how they had met with his children and marvel at how lucky he was this strong, capable woman agreed to marry him. He didn’t let himself consider that the woman he married wasn’t really there anymore. That losing her job had fractured her being irreplaceably.

You’ve stood in front of me
It was all so real
It was all so hard to see
I’m chasing ghosts and alibis

When he crawled into bed last night, he heard her laboured breathing, knowing again that she had cried herself to sleep. But when he left that morning, she was smiling again. Lost in her cup of tea, and murmuring about the luxury of time she had in front of her for the day. He had married a strong, capable woman and she would get through this.

I can almost hear you say
Don’t cry for me

She was walking now, past the shops and the children playing at the park. Dressed only in a singlet and her trackies, much colder outside the cocoon of the central heating than she realised. But she barely noticed. She felt numb to her core most days. Lost in a sea of fear, awash with self-doubt. In a cycle of worry she could not pull herself out from.

Dark water left your sinking heart to drown

She reached for her phone and into her call list “blue eyes” he was saved under. And she hit dial.

The phone rang, with anticipation she could almost hear his voice in her ears, telling her he was on his way.

But the phone continued to ring, and ring.

I never thought to hold you
I never thought that you might need an anchor

And as the phone rang out, and the call went unanswered, she rested her phone on the ledge. And she threw herself in front of the train.

I never thought it would end
Like it did here