From where she was standing, at that particular angle in front of her bathroom mirror, she could just oversee her full living room. Her apartment was so small the bathroom door was practically an insult to all those tiny house owners using every square millimeter to maximum efficiency. Still, it provided at least a much needed illusion of privacy. The walls in places like this were so thin that in the company of visitors you couldn’t go to the bathroom without cranking up the volume of the music first. Besides, her apartment was so small she usually preferred meeting elsewhere, ideally without her now ex-boyfriend, who had never been fond of company, not hers and certainly not anyone else’s. Still, she hardly thought about him these days anymore and, as her therapist once put it, stopped feeling the need to mentally relive his abusive presence.

Another look in the mirror confirmed what she already knew; the sorry state of her apartment, empty wine bottles and half smoked cigarettes everywhere, even the most elementary cleaning long overdue, dust darting around in autumnal sunlight. Good thing Alex wasn’t around anymore to chastise her in silence. Nothing worse than a pet overlooking your existence, giving you a daily guilt trip by just looking at you. Kinda ironic that he even proved to have more self-respect than her, leaving (or disappearing) well before her ex finally had enough of humiliating and embarrassing her. Life is a sad affair, an endless series of sordid adventures, half-baked relationship attempts and dead-end jobs. She had stopped informing her mother about her life years ago, long before it became clear to everyone that a steady relationship, let alone marriage, and the blissful arrival of half a dozen kids would not be on the cards.

If only she could blame someone, but her parents never treated her badly, her youth had always been happy and carefree, and she still remembered those magic months, just after college, with a degree and a loyal circle of friends, when life didn’t seem so bad, promising even. But that was before she decided to trade everything in for a move to the city, a tiny one-bedroom apartment and a boyfriend who only liked her after half a bottle of whisky. From that moment she gradually lost her connection with the outside world, her friends, her family, Alex and finally also her boyfriend. Now she was alone, sleeping most of the day, drinking cheap wine for dinner, and making playlists until late at night. Funeral songs she called them, or suicide notes, depending on her mood, and what she envisioned would come first.