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vitamins, presumably because she had a poor diet, she

suffered from chronic headaches and an acid stomach. She

was afraid of getting old and of cracked fingernails. A

working woman who had more money than time, who

bought expensive olive oil soaps in little boutiques and

didn’t get around to using them, and new toothbrushes

before she threw away her old ones. It occurred to her that

at last she would have enough room for all her stuff.

Somehow she couldn’t feel properly sad about Matthias.

Sometimes she cried and cried without stopping. At other

times she completely forgot that he was gone. They were

always spending a day or two apart, being alone wasn’t an

effort. Gillian hadn’t even been to his funeral, how could

she know he was really dead?

She took off her blouse and bra. Looking down herself, it

was easy to imagine nothing had happened. The accident

had left her with a couple of bruises on her torso and some

stitches on one leg, but other than that there were no signs

on her body. Then she raised her head and looked at her

face. In the hospital all she had seen were the wounds.

What she saw now, over an almost intact body, took all her

strength away. Her stomach knotted, and she crumpled to

the floor. She crawled to the bedroom on all fours and

flopped into bed. She felt her naked body, belly, waist, hips.