Outside her front door, lay a bouquet of flowers. She had nearly stepped on their bright green stems in her fancy new shoes: bright red with a pointed toe, and sky high heels. Normally she’d wear something more demure for work, but that morning, pulling on her dark navy suit, dry cleaned the week before and a crisp white shirt, she felt she could hide them in plain sight, behind a polished face, and a tidy hem, behind her constant calm composure.
She nudged the flowers with her left toe. Peonies, chrysanthemum, and pink tulips, wilting into her bristled mat. The flowers looked fat and bloated: fleshy insects drying themselves in a weak, winter sun, and petals lay forlorn, torn and beaten by the thud of the rain.
There was a envelope pinned to the transparent cellophane with a silver safety pin. She bent down, admiring her shoes, again, and unfastened it, opened her door. Her house smelt of cinnamon and lavender and the warmth emitted from the radiators pulled the cold from her cheeks. She pulled off her cream trench coat, unwound her red woolen scarf, and looked down at the writing.
‘I hope you enjoyed your last steps.’