A soft knock on the door late at night….she pads out half asleep, lets him in….sees in the shadowy light, his face wet with tears. “Don’t ask” he says, “just hold me,” and leading him by the hand she brings him to her sleep warmed bed, pulls him close. His voice whispering, so near, she feels rather than hears him

…..incoherent with anger, pain, he takes her violently, plunges into her, again and again….moaning with his need, his grief ….head thrown back, neck arched in extremity until he loses himself and still she holds him, until he falls down exhausted, breathing hard, sobbing and shuddering, his full weight upon her.

Stroking his head, the length of his back, he clings to her still, as his breathing eases, as his crying ceases.

“My niece killed herself….my beautiful little niece,”…. he rolls onto his side, facing her. “She was only thirteen.”

“Tell me” she murmurs, “Tell me everything.”

A family in crisis, separated by closed doors and technology….her siblings playing computer games, father watching porn, his sister in her bedroom on her Phone.

“She didn’t mean to kill herself”,  he’s sure of it…..just a cry for help, a warning that went wrong.

“Will you come with me?  They have her for one more day, before the funeral… be with her, to wash and dress the body….will you come ?”

“But, what about?” she starts to say, but he shakes his head emphatically, turns away, shrugs his shoulders…..then looks back at her, comes close….eyes naked now, hiding nothing…..just pure grief and need. “No, not her…..she wouldn’t know what to do….it’s you I want with me. I want you!!!”

As if I know what to do, she thinks……but even in the fleeting thought, she DOES know, she can be there, go through this, with him.