Leah Farmer

Personal perspectives on faith, literature, and life.

Water Falls…

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.

Her mother was speaking. She could see that her lips were moving. Teeth clenched. Jaw tight. Not yelling. On the contrary speaking quietly to draw the daughter closer. But something had changed. She would not lean in for this. She would not move closer to the silent harangue. She would not inch closer as expected.

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.

As the mother’s lips moved, the daughter could hear the faucet in the kitchen dripping.

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.

The mother had stopped in the middle of doing the dishes to come to the daughter in the dining room and tell her off. Dishes. Always dishes. The chore that only girls could do. The chore that she hated most of all. Tonight the mother did it and the daughter was going to pay the price for every bubble…every dirty spoon…and every moment of joy spent eating a meal elsewhere with friends.

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.

On her way out the door earlier, she had made a statement. She had said she didn’t agree with something. She had used her voice. And she knew this would have a price. A higher price than the price for not doing the dishes. A higher price than the one for leaving in the middle of the fight. A higher price than the one paid for many other offenses. This one would have the price of prices.

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.

This one would include the words. Stupid. Ignorant. Idiot. Moron. All the words.

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.

Water dripped off the wrists of the Mother as she talked. Bubbles at the spot where her thumb met her wrist. Slowly. Calculated. The words came. She reaches for a hand towel and even as the bubbles are removed, so is the daughters confidence wiped dry. Mostly.

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.

The tears won’t come. She won’t allow it. She wills them back. Concentrates on the faucet. Watches the fire in the eyes and waits for it to abate. To move…to inch towards the bedroom door…could draw a slap. Or god forbid…more of the words.

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.

The dishcloth is rung out. The hand towel is hung back on the hook. The mother turns. Always the final movement. This turning. Away. Always away.

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.

She pauses for just a heartbeat. Always this moment. Always this pause. She hopes. She waits. And then she too turns. Always the first movement. This turning. Away. But also towards. Towards quiet. Towards peace. Towards solitude. A few brief steps and freedom awaits her behind her bedroom door. Freedom. Oh she knows so little about it that she believes this is freedom.

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.

The tears. They come. But they are not only sad. They are furious. They are ashamed. And they are tinged in rebellion. In having spent her night discussing literature and politics and culture with her friends. Tears of knowing. That there is more. That there are others. Those who don’t use the words. Drops of fear mingled with drops of hope. Drops of forgiveness backlit with drops of desire. Drops of love flowing with drops of certainty. All of it mingling…bubbling…turning away. Always away.

Drip.

 

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