Time stopped as the lights went out.

I felt as if my lungs would collapse, a blur of shoppers glaring at me as I blindly ran through them. I had to get to her, she was falling. Dreamlike, everything happened too quickly whilst I felt the syrupy drag of desperation to get to Sofia. Her natural smile was fading at the same time her body was crumbling to the pavement, her knees hitting the unforgiving stone, head bouncing at the impact before she finally stopped. The bags filled with presents she had bought for our daughter, handles still clasped in her hands, were on the floor. Lifeless. She had looked so happy.


Sofia knew she had the perfect life, her friends took great delight in teasing her about it. It didn’t bother her, they were not jealous. Maybe a little. Meeting Joe in high school, she’d never considered that she might meet other boys or know the guilt of having to tell someone she didn’t want them any more, or feel the hurt of being dumped. Being with Joe was natural, they belonged together.  Both were successful in their careers, although she took great delight in reminding him that she passed her bar exam before him and landed a great position as a pupil barrister in Middle Temple. That was years ago, she’d been head of chambers for a year now and loved her job. She wondered at the workings of court cases and the thrill of representing as both defence and prosecution lawyer. Joe passed the bar the following year. He was now a QC, she was very proud of him.

Grinning, Sofia took her bags from the counter and started towards the store exit. Their daughter Nisha was going to scream with excitement on Christmas morning. Turning away from the counter, Sofia stopped for a second. Her head was spinning. The assistant was by her side, “Are you OK?”.  “What?”, Sofia shook her head, “Yes, sorry. Just felt a little dizzy there. Probably need a coffee.” She walked to the door, she still felt a bit light headed. The revolving doors proved a challenge, with her over filled bags, but she managed to get through. She could see Joe running towards her, his eyes wide. He was calling to her. What was wrong? Sofia didn’t realise she was falling, not until she felt the sharp snap of her knees hitting the ground. Everything was dark, but that was ridiculous, it was the middle of the day.


Sofia’s mother looked lost, looking through the glass. Nisha holding her hand, both had tear streaked faces. I could feel them as I leaned over to give Sofia a last kiss. Her lips cold and unforgiving. My heart was being ripped from my life. “I love you, beautiful Sofia.”

Time stopped as the lights went out.

Craig Worcester
Jul 28 2020

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So sad, but so beautifully written.

Rod Webb
Jul 28 2020