I have barely stepped into the office before strong hands grasp me from behind and force me to the floor. I find myself remembering the police doing the same outside our house and staring up at the dirty broken windows, understanding for the first time that you no longer live there.
The Director walks calmly over, his expensive suit unmarked by its enveloping shroud of flames. He kneels down, his face so close to mine that I can see the howling abyss behind his eyes.
‘I am truly sorry,’ he whispers. ‘You have fought well but it is over now – you must accept that.’
Then he stands and speaks to his lieutenants holding me down. ‘You reduced the medication far too soon. Please make sure this never happens again.’
I struggle but their grip is firm and unshakeable. After the needle’s scratch on my thigh, I can feel a deadening paralysis creep upwards.
Leading the holy army, you’d have thought I might have prayed more often. But when I spoke to the empty air, all that returned from the silences were memories of your shining eyes and the soft music of your laughter.
And they are all I have now.