The apartment block across the way is ten levels high. Lane lives on the third floor. She is sitting at her computer. Last week a girl from University died. She was riding her bike at the time. She had a yellow bag full of old appliances that she was going to dispose of at the local tip when a truck ran over her. The girl is on Lane’s chat-list. Her name is Emily and she is offline. Lane and Emily were working on an assignment together - ‘Angola: anatomy of an oil state.’ They had made little progress on the paper. Lane liked Emily.

When the driver apologised to Emily’s parents the papers took photographs of him entering their house. His picture was on the front of the local paper. People can’t seem to remember his name but they remember his face and the yellow bag in his dirty hand. They call him ‘The Truck Driver’.

Lane has been excused from the assignment. She got an email from her lecturer. He said, ‘…if you like you can complete the paper next semester.’ She feels mildly relieved by this. And so, the night is quiet. Lane slides her hand onto the mouse and stares at Emily’s name.

Dearest Emily
why so long without words?
why is your only answer silence?

Dearest Emily,
I am sure I could explain why
there was dress on the floor, in the foyer, when you walked in,
last week

when I saw you dancing at the club
last night, by yourself, with your eyes closed
I was struck by how alone you are

Emily. Emily. Emily.


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