‘I just don’t want to live anymore’ she said half to herself.

‘What are you talking about?’ he asked, aghast.

‘I hated it when I was poor…I hate it when I’m rich. I don’t feel anymore. I feel like I have a mask on my face that I can’t take out. I’m lost. I don’t know what to do with myself…’

He got up and knelt in front of her, looking at her face with beseeching eyes

‘You really can’t try and live with me?’ he asked.

‘I thought your condition was a loveless marriage’ she gave a hollow humorless laugh.

‘And I also say that I’ve come to like you’ he said.

 There was a sound outside. It seemed like a scuffle, and Kate heard a child’s voice. Something clicked in her mind and as if in a trance, she got up, kicking Sasha aside involuntarily, and stumbled to the door. She let out a distraught cry as she collapsed in front of the open door.

‘Hal’ she whispered as she clutched the surprised four-year-old boy close to herself, starting to sob convulsively, ‘Oh my God…Hal are you alright?’

‘Happy birthday, Aunt Kate" Hal said, putting his arms around her as she sobbed harder at the sound of his voice, ‘Ageha’s coming…she’s taking off her shoes.’

‘My baby… my baby’ Kate almost swayed in amazement, not hearing Hal speak.

Sasha took in a deep breath. He hadn’t expected this kind of reaction from Kate when he had decided to ask Danny to fly down for her birthday dinner. He hadn’t known that she had loved her past life, so full of financial uncertainty and burdens. Most of all, he hadn’t realized that she had been pining for the kids. Now he saw her partly come to life. He was shocked that he hadn’t noticed as she had withdrawn into a shell.

Ageha, and then Danny received the same treatment as they walked up the stairs.

‘Are you alright?’ Danny sounded worried, ‘my God, Kate, you’ve lost a load of weight. You’re finally a size 1.’

‘I’m not sure that I want it anymore’ she said in a shaky voice.

Although Sasha knew that she meant it with respect to the size 1 comment, it somehow struck him that she didn’t want anything to do with him either. In a way, she was right. He had told her not to expect love. Nevertheless, what of happiness? No one had a right to be unhappy, and certainly not his wife.

The End

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