In twelve years they hadn’t met, but in this new thing called lock-down, Grace saw her neighbour every day, when they both happened near a window simultaneously. With this stranger caged at a safe distance, Grace shyly returned her neighbours friendly-looking waves. This simple connection prised open her black dog prison bars, temporarily quelling suicidal voices. Grace thought it ironic that everyone else’s lock-down should bring her a little desperately-needed freedom.
When the Government announced a reduction of the restrictions, Grace was beset by panic; what would she lose?
Inevitably, the day came: no wave. Uninvited, the black dog of depression poked his nose in her door, ready to pounce. She backed away, afraid. The door creaked; this was it.
An unknown voice hallooed. ‘Hi neighbour. Thought it’s time we met for real. I’m working from home permanently now. It’s so lonely, a person could go mad. You saved my life. How about a cuppa?’