She answers the doorbell in her robe and pajamas, smiling nervously. The officers outside are faceless in the bright morning sunlight. Their names are Stephanie, and Sean. Sean has a kind face, but you can't see it yet. She lets them in, after a long fearful silence, and looks at the window as they sit down. Stephanie is going to say "We're so sorry," she thinks. And another piece of the world will fall down.
"We're so sorry," Stephanie says, and Laura jumps a little bit. An accident, in the night. Both sisters and her father, killed by a drunk driver. Nameless and faceless all through the night, until the casualties could be named, identified. Their bodies lay in the morgue for hours, until their identities could be verified. Getting colder in a cold room. Niece, or nephew. Laura stands up, so still and so quiet. The other driver is in stable condition. She holds herself up, against a side table; the gravity's getting stronger. Sean stands up, suddenly, as though he can save her from this. He can't. He stands back awkwardly; she asks them to leave.
The birds sing, outside in the sun. She cleans up the boxes from the shower. Just a little bit. She feels herself join the orphans. Her family is gone.
Chapter Seven: "The raft was not as seaworthy as I'd hoped. The waves repeatedly threatened to swamp it. I wasn't afraid to die, I was afraid of the emptiness that I felt inside. I couldn't feel anything. And that's what scared me."
Without shoes, without closing the door, in her pajamas she walks out into the city. On a mission, in her robe and pajamas. At the edge of the fountain in a busy center square, looking out past the spray and the water and the families and the children, going on about their days as though nothing's happened. As though the world hasn't ended. They stare at her, staring, and she looks down into the calmness of the water. They are too loud.
In the center of the fountain is a large rock, as large as a car. It could cradle you. With the spray of the fountains, like water on the hull of a small yacht crossing a vast lake, splashing up against your face. The sound of it, and the smell, and the rock cradling, and the water falling down, like a curtain around grief. It makes sense to her, she thinks, it makes sense. She walks across the water toward it, toward the anchor and the curtain, and slowly they begin to watch.