Friday, January 20, 2017

#1 (apartment 402 floor 4) - cold eggs

The day started with ... eggs. Scrambled, no yolks, just whites. No salt, just pepper, presented on a sparkling white plate. Fork on the left, butter knife and spoon on the right. Crisp white napkin under the plate. A cup filled almost to the brim with no pulp orange juice. Just how she liked it. "Mother!" the girl in pink pajamas called, "Breakfast is ready, just how you like it!!" She waited for a moment but all that she heard was the rain greeting the sidewalk four floors below her. She sighed, then padded through the apartment with her plush slippers. Knocking on the door, she twisted the knob and peeked in. "Mother?" she whispered tentatively, sliding through the crack in the door. She approached her mother, who was facing away from her. "It's me, mom, Maya" the willowy girl said softly. Approaching her mother Maya grasped the handles of the wheelchair and swiveled the chair around, wheeling her mom out of the room. "I've cooked eggs for you, just how you like them. And orange juice! Orange juice too!" Maya stopped when she reached the dining room table, spreading the white linen napkin on her mother's lap. Maya grimaced as a foul stench reached her nose,"Oh, mom you smell even worse today." she said, shaking her head. Maya crossed the room and picked up a bottle of Febreze, spraying the clean scent of cotton into the air, hoping to mask the scent that resembled that of a dead dog. After setting the bottle back down on the coffee able Maya glanced at her mother who still hadn't touched the eggs and plopped down on her faux leather couch with another sigh. Maya had had to cut off cable since her mother was unable to work and her job bussing at Serenity Diner didn't cover the cost. So, one of the only channels that her and her mother got was the local news. "Pool of Blood found with Suspicious Note at Abandoned Winthrop Park." read the headline at the bottom of the screen. "Mom? Are you seeing this?" she asked over her shoulder. Not hearing an answer, Maya tucked a stray piece of dishwater brown hair behind her ear and padded into her room. Her room was almost bare, despite the fact that she had been occupying this room for coming up on 19 years. After pulling on her one piece swimsuit and goggles, she kissed her mother on the head, told her goodbye (not receiving an answer) and rode the elevator down to the ground floor of Winthrop Place. Maya walked past the people lugging brown boxes that had words like "kitchen" and "bedroom" scrawled on them and walked out into the warm summer rain. Maya took a deep breath. Maya ran. She ran all the way down Arlington and onto Harbor Place. She ran until she felt her lungs about to burst and she stood ankle deep in the green water of Winthrop Lake. She wiggled her toes and the silky water tickled her feet. She walked forward until the water stood at her waist, teasing her belly button. Maya took a deep breath. Maya dove. The sound faded out and she was home. She pulled herself deeper and deeper into the cold green water that surrounded her until she felt the water pressing down on her skull like a million fleece blankets.A few hours later Maya stood in her dining room, lake water dripping on the floor and gathering in a pool by her feet. The day ended with eggs. Scrambled, no yolks, just whites. No salt, just pepper, presented on a sparkling white plate. They were cold now.

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