The house was eerily quiet, except for the faint clatter of cups and plates as Mrs Allen set the table in the kitchen. It was warmer and cosier there, full of the love and sympathy of the only people who seemed to care about her.
She did not make it to the undertaker’s; she broke down at the door and had to be driven home. Sabrina saw to everything according to her instructions. At the funeral, she was numb. So many people and so many flowers. The headmaster praised Will’s ability to settle into school, make friends and achieve so much in such a short time and at such a young age. Geoffrey, her ex-brother-in-law, said how proud his father would have been. She got up to read a poem she had chosen, made it to the lectern, and then fell to pieces. Sabrina held her hand and read it for her.
Back at the house, Mrs Allen had laid on tea, coffee, and a buffet. The house was full. Everyone was so kind. The headmaster had brought Will’s bags and a cardboard box of his belongings, which Mrs Allen took straight up to Will’s room. Rosanna did not want to touch any of it. Not yet. She sat in her armchair by the open fire, drinking gin and tonic with Sabrina, whose children still wore expressions of shocked sadness on their faces. They huddled together in a corner; the three musketeers had lost their d’Artagnan.
Mitch phoned every day for the first two weeks. He asked when Rosanna would return to New York – he did not ask when she would be coming home. As far as he was concerned, she was already there. After three weeks, he called her twice and then told her to call him back when she was ready. She never was. The solicitors confirmed that she had permanent residency of the Surrey house until her death, but she was not permitted to rent it out or sell it. She was content with the arrangement. When Mitch finally asked, she also agreed to a divorce.
The penultimate episode of Snow Globe for Poets and Storytellers United Writers’ Pantry