Slower.  Most things felt slower now. Buttoning up her cardigan. Tying shoelaces. Walking along the narrow hallway, reaching for the coat and slipping into the sleeves, first one arm, then the other. Zipping up the front. Wrapping the scarf around was particularly awkward. Finally the hat. Happily her handbag was already waiting on the square table by the front door. As L opened the door she shivered feeling the sunlight and a breeze race past.

Taking one step, then the other, out onto the street she double checked in her bag for the bus pass before pulling the door closed and pushing it twice, to make sure it was really shut.

By the time L reached the bus stop the ten past had already gone which meant at least fifteen minutes wait for the next one. Bus stop minutes were especially slow. It was like being in one of those strange videos with a person standing in the middle and everything around them speeding past. People hurrying in no direction. L began remembering what it was she needed from town. First, the post office. Of course. Then, the haberdashers, for some buttons. Momentarily uncertain about what day of the week it was got her wondering if she’d be able to call in at the library. They close early on Tuesdays.

There was a postcard in her bag. As the bus was still 10 minutes away she it out to study it again. Post marked somewhere in Spain she had never heard of. From her sister. They hadn’t seen each other, or even spoken, in months.

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