Clutching her anorak about her shoulders Mary shivered and hurried along Fairbridge Road to the flats, Father Kelly’s sour taste burning her mouth.
Today Frank’s absence was physical, thank Christ. The flat was cold and dim: the light in the hall had been doused by the water from the bath of the young African lady upstairs. Mary kept on her coat, filled a kettle and closed her eyes, and saw herself suddenly as a young girl running along a muddy lane to the cottage. It was raining and the bucket of water from the well slopped over but kept refilling. Her father waited with the belt.