Chapter 1: The Introduction
I stared at her, her back towards me, gazing out the window at god knows what. She was hunched over the sink, gnarled hands resting on the kitchen counter, wisps of brown hair escaping her bun. Her body spelt disaster, fragile and small, as if by a faint breeze would wither and disintegrate into ash, in other words collapsible. The strong putrid sense of exhaustion emanated from her and permeated the air, just like always. No matter if she was far away, an almost indistinguishable speck in your sight, or up close, inches from your face, breathing foul breath, the doom was always there, threatening to choke somebody. Always, it was her daily occupation to spread her disease to us, an epitomy of depression and captivity, living in our home and haunting us. She was more of a ghost than a mother. Every time I looked at her, my heart ached. I could imagine shackles, binding her hands and trailing after her as she strolled from the kitchen to the living room, or the living room to the kitchen, or his room to hers, whichever path she took. She had created a dead silence in the room, oozing poisonous fear and it was an obstacle separating me from her from any word or greeting to be uttered from my lips. I always thought that this was intentional. She had a crazy desire to wallow in her own muddy misery and she would go by any means to continue on. This cruel treatment led me to feel guilty. I don’t know why. Guilt and hate always mingled together, though sometimes the hate prevailed. I would feel guilty, because the silence was shrilly screaming and my tentativeness in uttering simple words would be a crime, like blood had tainted the walls of my conscience that I presumed to be white. The walls of the kitchen were now joining in, screaming at the top of their lungs, saying I was a coward, an unfilial daughter, A MURDERER, AND A HEARTLESS CREATURE AND A CURSED BASTARD AND A----
I sucked in my breath.
“Mom?”. And there it was. The little, harmless word acted like the sharpest knife in the whole world and pierced the cage of isolation she created, vaporizing. My heart palpitated, a rabbit waiting for its predator to sink its incisors into me. She didn’t reply and I was almost relieved. But still I was at a loss.