Slowly, painfully, Reeva stood.  She edged out of the narrow

space described by the chair, the bed, and the table,

and she went into the windowless bathroom.  She hit the

light and hid her eyes for a moment, then stared

at herself in the mirror.  She was wan, distraught.  Then

she realized that was exactly what she was looking for,

evidence that Oscar’s denunciations had undone her, and she turned

from the sight of herself and wept.  She eased herself

onto the closed toilet and sobbed at her own self-pity,

and she sobbed at it all.  Her spirit was broken.


Paraphrases from the novel Songs Without Words by Ann Packer.