Rachel sat on the cold kitchen tiles, Mrs. Dalloway resting beside her turmeric stained fingers. She was sinking just like Virginia, she thought, blissfully unaware but acutely knowing, like large pocketed stones. The chicken tenderloins had found their way from her hands to the wall, sticking momentarily before sliding to the floor in front of her. How Virginia came to be beside her, she cannot remember. Perhaps she was holding her, fingers coiled between the binding and pages in one hand, while she worked the meat and spices with the other? It didn’t matter. She knew she wasn’t hungry anymore. When she had been, 10 minutes earlier, she took advantage of the chance to stomach more than coconut water. He didn’t like coconut water, so she made it something she could own without the thought of him. But he liked chicken, and turmeric, and her cooking.
There is nothing more delicious than losing yourself in a man, she thought. Nor is there anything less appetizing than losing yourself completely when he leaves you. She picked herself up like a puppet, cleaned the mess and took another shower.
The water had barely a chance to reheat. She sighed at the thought of this month’s utility bill on one paycheck and shrugged off the concern with nonchalance. Letting the hard stream penetrate her state of melancholy, the water diluting her salty tears before they entered her mouth. Her thoughts darted, from deciphering which errands could be put off for another day, to the Peace Lilies that caught her eye at the Homemakers Depot, when things were pure and clean in her life and not tainted by deceit and versions of her self she never thought capable of manifesting. She decided to go back and buy them one day, until she remembered how friendly the staff were. She only ever visited the store when she was with him. They always gave them an endearing, ‘oh it’s you two again!’ look. Maybe she would wait. Or perhaps she would never go back there again? She turned the tap off, tight enough to avoid the drip he promised to fix. One last cry, she told herself, and turned the tap back on.
The force of the water almost drowned out the chime of her phone message, but not enough. Disappointed to be interrupted, at the same time thankful somebody cared enough to contact her, she turned the tap off for the fifth time that day. She was hoping silently it would be him, but knew that this was impossible. He was 40’000 feet above somewhere far from her by now.
79,565 steps to go.
To be continued…