A Room with a View
by Terri Welch
A glass squeaked under her raisin fingertips and she realised she'd been washing it long enough for the dishwater to grow tepid. Reality oozed back in focus, the dirty grey wall across the yard replacing the glittering ocean of her daydream.
A creak behind her warned of Vince's approach and she hurried to finish the dishes. Grunting good morning, he disappeared behind the newspaper.
"Toast's almost ready," she forced a smile as she set his tea down in front of him. The effort was wasted - not even a grunt now.
When only crumbs remained at the table and the slam of the front door told her he was gone, she stared through the window once again. Seventeen years she'd been staring at that wall, although for some time now she had barely seen it, for it had morphed into a canvas on which she painted her fantasies.
Turning from the window she checked her handbag. Savings book, train ticket, passport - all there. Moving into the hall, she pulled a bulging suitcase from the closet, a piece of yesterday's conversation replaying in her head.
"We're looking forward to meeting you too, Susan. Your room is ready and waiting for you. I know it's hard, losing your husband, but I'm sure in time you'll be happy here. The sun always shines and the rest of the staff are so friendly.
Oh, and did I mention your room has a view of the ocean?"