The laughter fades from her consciousness and she is left alone at the table of the small apartment, a cup of tea overturned, and dripping onto the floor. It pools for a heartbeat more before she realizes it is also soaking into her jeans.
This forces some motion (along with the knowledge that if she leaves the liquid for very long on the wooden floors it'll be problematic to the finish) and she scoots the chair back reaching for a tea towel with a cat embroidered on it. Just before she goes to put it down she stops. The tea towel is a bit stained, and it won't get any worse with the tea, but she sets it aside, and instead reaches for a paper towel.
The laughter and family is still lingering in her mind as she wipes up the tea and then stands back up and stares at the table.
Her mother used to embroidery tea towels in her spare time. Her father used to make fun of this - 'they're just for chores why would you spend the time on it' - but her mother's response was always 'they'll be prettier this way', and for some reason this memory seems quite vivid in this moment.
Or possibly it's the silence of the apartment that was once upon a time far less, and yet far more.
She had redone it all, fresh paint, repaired wood-work, all bright light and large white spaces, and Scandinavian simplicity. It looked like a city apartment, something out of a magazine (and it didn't hurt that her Ex had paid for all of it), but it didn't look like home anymore. Or maybe home hadn't been the old cabinetry, and the brick that could be seen behind the peeling wallpaper in the dark hallway, so much as it had been people. Her parents, her brother, and they were all gone.
She'd spent enough time in Repose to not be terribly put off by what had happened.
At least, not in theory.
But in practice she made enough cup of coffee and drank the whole of it. And it was nearly ten before the Open sign was flipped on the door.