Her mind was foggy; signals were blocked and messages weren’t getting through to her brain. She felt like she was walking on the moon, every movement slow and light while her feet hardly touched the ground, but then her head was a sinking cannon ball, swirling in the depths of the ocean.
She glanced at the clock on the oven. 02.38, it proudly announced in tiny L.E.D lights. She realised she had been working for thirty six hours without sleep. The percolator made noises akin to a gurgling child, followed by the coughing and spluttering of an elderly TB patient. She collected a cup and poured herself a coffee. Moving three drawers to the left, one drawer down, she scrambled beyond Tupperware boxes and lids, finally landing on her prize which she added generously to her coffee.
‘I didn’t expect you would still be here’
The voice surprised her and the whiskey bottle clattered to the floor, spilling but not smashing.
‘Looks like you’ve had a tough night’
She turned to face the familiar figure, watching him bend to retrieve the precious alcohol. He placed it on the counter and took a swift step toward her, arms encircling her, his chin coming to rest on her head. She breathed in his deep, musky smell.
‘I can’t do it Nate, there isn’t an answer’
As soon as she admitted it out loud the tears came, she sobbed for what she could not solve and for all the lives that would be lost as a result.