Since the Accident

They never call it what it was. They never discuss what happened. Emma thinks she can get past it, that it’s just a phase, and that when she does, her life with Richard, their marriage, will return to normal. But in quiet moments—as in the shower this morning—she can’t remember what normal was like, how everything felt four months ago, before the misshapen hoods and the hissing steam and rising smoke. She sometimes feels like a child who has let go of a balloon in the wind and run through a field after it, only to watch it fly farther and farther away.

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