Day 358 – Taboo

A new story! I feel good that I can still do these after a year!

Word count: 802

The dishes were drying on the rack, water running from them and dripping on to the draining board. Outside the birds san, serenely and ever-aware of the setting sun; children played and quiet men washed their cars in the driveway.
It was suburbia. It was the quiet dream; the white picket fence; the perfect lawns and flowering baskets dangling from the roof. There was a car in ever y drive; a smile on every face and a child in every house. There were no bad arguments; there were no bad words, no spats between lovers and no cruel tongues. This world was encompassed in cotton wool. They saw no evil so they spoke no evil.

Jennifer was staring blankly out the window. The clock in the kitchen had stopped and now there was nothing to stare at but blind hope. From now on the time watching was done. Seconds could not calculate a day and would not serve to bring back what she had lost. Only waiting; immeasurable patience would.

The kettle boiled, but there was no need to make the tea. She took it off the heat and allowed it to cool. In a few minutes she would repeat the procedure for she had to be ready at any moment to make the welcoming cup of tea.
Jennifer was young in many ways. Her hair was a beautiful tree of curly locks; her complexion quite free of imperfections and her eyes were crystal clear blue. She wore no makeup and did not need to. She had a neat figure and wore neat fitting clothes, most of them frilly and girly. Her high cheek bones made her appear stern at times, though she never meant it. But Jennifer was not young at all. Far from the late twenty-something that she was; underneath lurked an old woman with long, greasy, unkempt grey hair with a hunchback and cackling laugh. This was the real Jennifer – the one that cried inside and screamed for some attention. Jennifer kept her silent for the most part. The inner Jennifer never spoke of anything constructive, only of hurtful nasty things.

The front door opened and closed. She did not blink an eye. This was not the moment she had been waiting for. Instead, it was her father returning to work. The inner Jennifer flinched, but the outer Jennifer silenced her. Keep both eyes on the window; keep both eyes on the window.
She was struck with fear every time her father came home. He would stop her. He would stop her any second from now. Indeed seconds after the front door shut, a pair of hands was around her shoulders and waist, dragging her from her sacred spot by the window.
“No, Jennifer, no. We have been through this,” he said calmly in her ear as she struggled for breath.
Jennifer kicked and threw herself around violently, but he had too tight a grip on her. Meanwhile the kettle boiled again, but this time there was no one available to turn it off. Her father dragged her all the way back into the living room and threw her on the sofa.
Jennifer’s father stood over her, his demonic eyes terrifying her into submission.
“You cannot do this anymore. You promised.”
“I did,” Jennifer replied weakly, massaging her throat.
Her father was teeming with anger and visibly shaking. “Where is your mother?”
“She – she had to go out. To the shops I think.”
“I’m going to kill her for this. She is too easy on you.”
“Easy, I guess that’s the word.”
Jennifer’s father looked at her strikingly, “Do not test me, Jennifer. You have tested me to almost my limit. Do not test me any further.”
Jennifer shrunk into herself, bowing her head low so she did not meet his eye. But the inner Jennifer was screaming to get out – she was throwing herself against the bars and yelling to the prison guards. Jennifer started to listen to the hurtful things the inner Jennifer was saying. One verbal punch after another hit the back of her mind and propelled it into exploding anger. She looked up at her father, finally brave – and finally just herself.
“Don’t you look at me like that. Don’t you dare,” he leant in towards her, “You’re mad you know that? Mad. And we let you stay, still. We look after you. We are here for you in your mad, mad moments.”
He pointed towards the kitchen and the spot where Jennifer was standing all afternoon. The water from the kettle was streaming all own the sides. Inner Jennifer snapped and assumed control. Outer Jennifer was dead, just a corpse.
“Maybe I wouldn’t be the mad, mad girl who forever waits for the return of the baby her parents forced her to give up.”

~ by S.G. Mark on September 28, 2012.

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