by Claire Snook
Forty years together have been reduced to four garbage bags and a cardboard box. They stand awkwardly at the gate to their house, both looking down, waiting for the other to make the first move. He takes half a step forward, places a hand on her shoulder and kisses her cheek. She moves away quickly to the car with a bag in each hand, their son and daughter carrying the other bags. As they drive away, he looks at the house opposite to see the cream blind moving against the window. He smiles as he walks across the road.
Claire Snook is a former journalist turned writer, studying for her Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester.