Copyright 2010 Susanne O'Leary
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‘Lucy?’ Claire called as she walked into the hall of the small flat near the college campus. ‘Lucy, are you there?’ There was no reply. Then she remembered that Lucy was at her yoga class, or was it Pilates? Something sweaty and tiring in any case. Claire took off her jacket, kicked off her boots, leaving both in a heap on the hall floor, and walked into the living room. It was empty, the sofa cushions plumped up, the magazines Claire had left strewn on the floor the night before stacked tidily on the leather trunk that served as coffee table, and the tea mugs cleared away into the tiny kitchen. She walked to the door of Lucy’s bedroom and listened for a moment. There was not a sound but, just to make sure, Claire opened the door slightly and peered in. The room was deserted, the bed neatly made, Lucy’s slippers side by side under the bed, her notes stacked in tidy piles on the small desk, a row of pens arranged with military precision beside them. Claire knew that Lucy’s few items of clothing hung in the wardrobe, colour coded, beautifully pressed and ironed. Like a bloody hospital, Claire thought. Her own room always looked as if she had just been broken into. She closed the door and walked back into the living room.