Acceptance of the Simple Grief
I stared at the golden knocker on the red door. The light reflected off it, showing off the flawless layer of paint. The knocker had obviously been used often, it shone in the sunlight were it had been touched most often while the screws and the hinge were covered in dust and residue.
"Good morning!" I was brought back to my senses when a young woman passed Lianne and Fletch's house in front of which I was standing.
One minute passed. Two. Three. I counted to five and then got up the courage to knock. I raised my shaking hand to the knocker and pulled up its weight in order to slam it back down thrice...
I sighed. Maybe she was out.
Turning, I made my way back to the car. Suddenly. There! A rattling of keys. The door opened and a voice answered
"He-hello?" it was a child's voice. Maybe 7 years old.
I turned back and looked at the child. The girl looked on frightened and hid in the shadow that the door threw into the hall.
"Hello!" I crouched down and tried to look enthusiastic "I need to talk to your mother, do you know where she is?"
"Sh-she's ironing." she struggled to articulate her sentence correctly.
"May I come in?" I asked praying she would allow it.
"O-ok." she opened the door further and I straightened myself, following her in.
"What's your name?" I smiled at her.
"Amy...is your sister here?" I had often overheard Fletch's conversations and knew he had two daughters.
"Can you fetch her for me?" I asked and she nodded, bounding up the stairs.
"Ellie, Ellie!" I heard the muffled shouts and knocks on a door.
"What?! I'm talking to a friend!"
"There's a woman here."
"Ok, fine. I'll come down." there was a clatter and the unlocking of a door.
Then a 16 year-old casually slunk down the stairs.
"Hello?" she asked, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Hiya, I need to talk to your mother."
"What for?" she looked at me challengingly.
"I need to apologise to her..." I looked at the ground.
"Oh you're that doctor." she chuckled sarcastically. Amy looked at her confusedly.
"Amy, this is the whore that kissed daddy." she patted her back.
"Please, just let me talk to her." I pleaded and her eyes turned into slits.
"Fine." she spat "I'll get her." she left Amy in the hall with me and opened one of the doors, walking through them into another room and then the one behind it.
A few minutes later, Lianne opened the half open door and came face to face with me.
"Hello, Lianne." I made an effort to smile but it wasn't mutual.
"What do you want? You've already wrecked my week."
She crossed her arms over her chest as her daughter had done but tears started welling in her eyes.
"I wanted to apologise sincerely. I realise what I have done. I realise I have wrecked a home. I feel terrible. I was drunk on that Friday but I know that's no excuse. I need to be frank with you. I couldn't recall what had happened until the next afternoon and I couldn't bear myself, all I could think about was the betrayal I had caused you and Tom."
"Why didn't you come earlier then?" she interrogated.
"I didn't know if Fletch had already told you. Yesterday was the first time I was actually able to talk to him about Friday."
"...Do you know how much pain you have caused me?" she was closed to crying, her voice breaking.
"No. But I can imagine it must have been torturing you all night."
"Yes. And it will. I cannot trust my husband anymore..."
"No please! It was me who kissed him, he was too drunk to understand what was happening. I know you have been betrayed before...but you won't be again. I promise."
"Really? You think you can promise that?"
I didn't know how to answer.
"...I...I truly do yes." I said and there was a silence.
"...Then there really is no reason to detest you anymore." she opened her arms as if to embrace me and I wrapped my arms around her.
Ellie and Amy were still watching and Ellie's hard face relaxed slowly when her mother let me go and smiled weakly.
"I need to go, unfortunately. But I truly am sorry about the sorrow I have caused your family.
"I know. I shall see you soon." she replied and I opened the door, exiting this scene of remorse that had been tinted with acceptance.
I had done it. I smiled, proud of myself. Now I could finally let go.