08 – The Smallest Step

The apartment was never silent.

Stef leaned against the cupboard, looked at the various piles of vomit and vile on the floor around her, closed her eyes, and listed to the sounds of life. Cars were an ever-present staple of the noise pollution – with or without the balcony doors open, traffic noise filtered in, reminding her that other people were still alive. No traffic would probably mean the start of the zombie apocalypse.

She found a clean patch on her shirt, and wiped her mouth again. Continue reading “08 – The Smallest Step”

07 – Truths

Stef opened up four tabs of mother and mother-to-be blogs. Four giveaways entered and three comments made, she began to read through the reviews of various more expensive purchases. Prams and cots and developmental toys. She opened her checklist and grimaced at all the things that still needed to be bought.

You haven’t redone the budget yet. Continue reading “07 – Truths”

06 – Rattled

Stef lifted the rattle and shook it.

It gave a gentle, delicate tinkle, a sound quite distinct from all the other rattles she’d heard. There was a price sticker on the box beneath, but she didn’t bother to look at it – if you looked at the price, it meant you had to think twice about affording it, if you had to think twice about affording it, then you didn’t belong in the store. The silver rattle was beautiful, the kind of thing she’d surely had as a child. Continue reading “06 – Rattled”

05 – Starlight

Stef winced as her hair was pulled back into a bun. Getting her hair ready for ballet was so different than getting ready to go shopping – shopping hair was this relaxed, serene experience where it was just all about her mother loving Stephanie. Ballet, on the other hand, was about her mother pushing Stephanie, challenging Stephanie, and wanting her to be better. Continue reading “05 – Starlight”

02 – Balance

The lift from the nineteenth floor wasn’t empty like it had been on the ride up, and unfortunately, no amount of wishing could keep back the tears. At least they were quiet tears – sobbing and screaming and pounding her fists against the wall could wait until she got home, the tears however, couldn’t. Continue reading “02 – Balance”