From upstairs she could hear the sound of laughter filling the hallway at the same time as water filled the bath tub. She spent an extra moment enjoying a last sip of wine before turning down the dinner, switching off the tv and heading upstairs for the last and most tedious child related chore of the day; bath and bed. As she mounted the first step she thought about the bedtime routine, it wasn’t as if it was all that bad, there were plenty of cuddles during storytime and the big sleepy hugs, but by the time 6o’clock came around patience levels were close to zero, and it would only take a particle of straw dust to break the camels back. She also knew she was lucky, Shane was nearly always home for bedtime and was eager to help, she knew many other mothers who completed this last and most filled chore alone, and were left weeping into their wine come 7pm. However Shane and herself had fallen into the routine, the routine she always thought she would conquer, she had seen friend after friend fall into ‘friendship’ with their partners, why did she think she was so different? Why did she feel they could keep their individuality and coupledom on track when all others had fallen from the wild open-topped cabriolet of love into the 7 seater 4x4 of life?
She got to the top step and turned to see her husband and son, it wasn’t until after wards that she would noticed the laughter had stopped? When did it cease? She had been so wrapped up in her own thoughts she hadn’t noticed its departure. She turned, and as she did she felt the atmosphere change around her, for in the place of her husband and son sat two round quivering pools of water.