Silence is a country where she would like to holiday. Not take up permanent residence, but definitely spend some quality time there. Lying in silence, shuttered against the world.

Silence is a place that could breathe new life into her.

She cracks the key in the door, pushes it back on its squeaky hinge, steps into the hall. She is flat. Her eyes, her voice, her hair, her spirit. Too many hours, built up in increments, spent driving to and fro, on the same stretch of motorway, the same dual carriageway, to and fro, to and fro, to and fucking fro. The to-ing and the fro-ing punctuated by hours, built up in further increments, spent seated in front of another person, a stranger, a different stranger every day, talking. She was already punctured when the talking started. The words, no matter how soft, no matter how well-intentioned, no matter how solicitous of her feelings, only serve to keep the puncture fresh.

She steps into the front room. The light on the answering machine blinks red. Another conversation postponed. Another conversation she has to have. More soap to show the air escaping.

She is flat. Silence, she thinks, could reshape her.