Page 5 - Silent Violence
P. 5

The journey had taken its toll. My husband and I
had been up at six for my parents to take us to
Heathrow. Friends were there to see us off too.
"Printing money in the sun" was what they said.
Mike had given up telling them that it would be
hard work. Our weariness was shared. Being
purged from the bright, cosy conviviality of banter
and booze precipitated a silent vulnerability. An
unspoken consensus was made and we quietly fell
into line, wary and weary; raw recruits after a long
haul, straggled into combat interval by the weight
of hand luggage and eyelids.

   As we walked across the tarmac towards the
building, stadium floodlights put our star-fished
shadows on stilts. The quartz sparkled with the
muted iridescence of lamplight upon snow at night.
I remember thinking of asking Mike whether it was
quartz I was seeing or diamonds.

   A soldier with a machine gun slung over his
shoulder indolently followed our progress.

   When we got to baggage collection and I saw
we were not going to get through customs within
the hour my heart sank.

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