Clara tumbles the crisps and nuts, all except the cashews, back into their bags, folds the mouths down and snaps them with plastic clips. She puts the vegetables in the crisper, the spices alphabetically on their rack, she notices the rice bag is split so pours it out into a bowl.
The red barberries she covers in cling film, leaving them on the table, an ornament.
Maybe Mrs Osman put her foot down or there was a problem with the children, but Clara is surprised he has not tried to contact her, or even come himself.
She stands at the worktop staring at the little green grains among the brown, knowing she has run out of things to do and that if she does not make her mind up what to do next, pain will jazz the back of her eyes. Read? All the books she has have empty pages. Listen to music? All her CDs are blank, her drives wiped. Tidy? Everything is locked and interlocked in place, nothing is hers.
Breathe. She tells herself. ‘Breathe.’