Sometimes she is afraid, very afraid. Of the shadows that fall across the room after the happy sun goes down. She sits, huddled in a corner, listening to the noise of silence. A distant roar of a car, a baby wailing in the apartment below her, the blare of music across the street where those young people live.

She is young too, she knows. But inside she is ancient. Hammered by life, twisted by fate, she grew old and afraid before she knew what was happening.

She glances at the mantelpiece, two faces in a cracked picture frame smile down at her. Two faces. A handsome rugged man holding a young dark haired boy. Her two little pieces of sunshine. She smiles back tenderly at them. She misses them. She wonders what they would have been doing now if they were still with her.

She would be cooking dinner, the TV would be playing Ellen, their favourite show. The house would be lit up, bright and dazzling. The air would be saturated with love and happiness, warm and cozy.

But it is just darkness now.

She is afraid of the darkness, because it mirrors the emptiness of her soul, makes her realise that life is now just this – a darkness filled with memories of what was and fantasies of what could have been.

As the photo keeps on their smile, hers slowly fades.