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It was a constant presence, that flickering light. That bluish glow had accompanied laughter and tears, love and despair.

She had sat in front of it when her grandfather was dying. She had sat in front of it when her daughter was upstairs crying. She sat in front of it still, her constant companion.

When her daughter, bags packed, came down the stairs for the last time, the flickering light stayed on; she looked away from it for just a few minutes, but returned to it straight away. She didn’t even look out of the window; she never knew that her daughter had stopped at the gate to wave a last goodbye.

When her husband, bags packed, walked out of the door for the last time, she stayed in front of that light. He might have stayed if she had switched it off, but she didn’t even think of it, and so he left, too.

All she had left was the flickering light. It was her life now.

Laughter and tears, love and despair. None of it mattered, as long as she had her programs.

© Kari Fay

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