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she listens at night, listens for her father's voice, her mother's laugh. when it gets to that darkest hour, she sometimes thinks she can really hear them both. but, inevitably, the sounds fade back into what's real, her mind puts impossible hopes and dreams away. it is only then that she sleeps.

in the morning, she wakes to a life she never wanted, a life she usually pretends to hate, but only in private. the real secret each morning is she's come to enjoy it, come to relish that first moment she sees her kid's bright eyes, that first time she is forced to see finally the past behind her. old dreams are dead and buried. they've been put to rest, and she tries her damnedest to be comfortable with that.

each day passes, and life goes on. her husband loves her, really loves her. she knows that much. she loves him just the same. there are those times that she wonders if life would be better without him, but those moments pass, are put away, stored with all her daydreams past.

night comes again, and she lies awake, listening for her father's voice, her mother's laugh, the footsteps of her older sister getting home late, any sign that so many years have not gone by, that she didn't miss out on all her dreams. she listens, and sometimes she hears. but, what she hears is not always what she expects. sometimes she hears a young girl crying herself to sleep, a young girl who clearly sees what's truly in store for her. she makes herself wonder who that girl is. who could she be, she asks herself. she can't admit she knows the answer. and mostly, she just pretends she doesn't even hear that girl. she waits instead for her father's voice or her mother's laugh.

it is only then that she sleeps.

"grief over a lost life"