The last thing I hear as the cab pulls away are your cries.
The excitement I had been feeling all week sinks like a stone in my stomach. The taxi driver glances at me, assuming my moist eyes are affected by the dazzling Perth morning sun. He leans across me and snaps down my visor, leaving the top half of my face in shadow. I murmur my thanks.
I am relieved my cab driver is not a talker. I chat inanely most of the time, but right now I want to be left alone. I am alone, having left you and your sisters at home, barefoot and still in your pyjamas.
I am flying to Sydney. It used to be my home but now it is just somewhere I used to live, a place of memories, a holiday destination. Or for today, a place of work and networking.
No one is talking to me. No one wants anything. There is no fighting or whinging or singing or questions.
Instead we listen to the radio. The mystery of the missing Malaysian airlines flight is now a week old. I feel for the Perth woman, a mother like me, whose husband is on that flight. I feel for everyone who has someone on that flight.
What is the more painful combination: hope but not knowing, or grief and certainty?
The roads ahead of us are clear and we arrive at the airport in record time. In hindsight I could have spent another thirty minutes with you and your sisters. I know you will have stopped crying by now, distracted by breakfast or TV or Mr Bun. You are happy by now, have forgotten I'm not there.
But the thing I still hear are your cries.