He drummed his fingers on the table. Then he bit his nails. A distant car engine made him go to the window, but it continued past the sleepy village. Silence descended over the living room. He froze and the silence grew, ripping through his eardrums to tear up his insides. He paced the carpet, stamping his feet to chase the silence away, but there was still an emptiness in the room which he could not fill with noise, and the void sucked at him, threatening to drag him down into nothingness. He picked up his phone, still pacing. Who wouldn’t be at work? He sent out a text with “Hi, How’s it going?” to ten different numbers. When the phone vibrated, he sat down with a sigh. It was not much, but it could keep the void at bay for a while.