As Maisie pulled the covers over her small wiry body she listened hard to see if Paul was moving about in his room. All was quiet, so she plumped up her pillow and settled down for the night. She had lived in this house all her married life. She still considered herself as married even though she had lost Don her husband many years ago. She always thought of him when she went to bed. If anyone would have asked why, she would have said it was because he was a kind and gentle man that thought the world of her. But nobody ever asked. He had been killed in a freak road accident so many years ago. He was a delivery man for a store in town and another vehicle had clipped the rear door of the van he was opening, knocked him to the ground and hit his head on the road. He died of a brain haemorrhage.
That was the second occasion of great sadness for Maisie. The first was when they lost their baby James a few weeks after his first birthday. Maisie was so upset that she didn’t know even now exactly what illness he had or why they couldn’t save him. The word meningitis was used but she didn’t understand it or why they couldn’t save him. She had gone into a state of shock and depression. Don had been very kind and supportive and later they made plans to have another child but one never came. Then Don died and Maisie was by herself. In but a blink of the eyes her married life and that of a mother were ended.
Maisie was by this time fast asleep. In her dreams she relived her life and reshaped it to how she wanted her life to have been. Her Don would touch and kiss and make love to her and trace his fingers over her body and she would fall asleep safe in his arms. James her baby would steadily grow up and play with toy cars and Lego and might even have a train set. He would go to school and come back home with his school books and his words would have some of the letters written the wrong way round. She could see him kicking a football and swimming at the pool. She even wondered what sort of girl he would pick out to be his bride.
Maisie was woken early the next morning by the dog scratching at the door. She wearily got up and let him out to wander round the garden. And then she looked in on Paul whose door was now open. As he lay there still fast asleep she wondered whether she could catch up on some of the life she had missed out on.