|Dreaming in Color
Author: wodneythewat PM
She never forgot.Rated: Fiction K - English - Chapters: 3 - Words: 1,622 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 1 - Updated: 03-08-06 - Published: 01-31-06 - id: 2103008
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The morning dawned bright, with little clouds in the November sky. She blinked once, twice, and rose immediately.
It wasn't long before she was ready for school, but as it was still rather early - six thirty AM to be exact - she settled back onto her bed to read a book as the rest of the house awoke.
Slowly, slowly noises were heard. First the soft rustling and the creaking of a bed, a half-asleep groan, then running of the tap in the bathroom, and the soft padding of feet on the carpet floor... She dimly registered the quiet morning sounds, yet nothing stood out in her mind but the unmistakable knock on her bedroom door.
"Karen?" Her mother peeked out from behind the door with gentle eyes and a ready smile. She was dressed in faded blue jeans and a loose shirt. She carried her ancient, soft beige purse in hand. "Are you almost ready for school?"
She nodded and silently slipped off her bed. Her mother smiled down at her and stepped back a little, holding the door wide open for her daughter.
Downstairs in the kitchen, her mother quickly made her breakfast (Cheerios with milk). The little girl ate dutifully, finishing each ring without noise. She kept her head down as she ate and did not look up at her mother, who was sitting across from her at the small chartreuse table.
"Karen, dear," her mother said quietly, "you know I won't be home until about four today? Will you be all right if you are alone for an hour or so?"
She lifted her bowl and swilled it around once, watching as the last drops of milk chased after one another, fusing together when one was finally caught by the other.
"Karen? Karen, dear, did you hear me?"
She nodded, so subtly that if her mother had not been searching her daughter for a sign of acknowledgement, she would have missed it.
"Okay then. Let's go."
She took her bowl and deposited it in the sink, then went to the front door where an inconspicuous, cream colored backpack sat. She slipped on her Velcro-strapped tennis shoes as her mother dug the car keys out of a pile of newspapers piled haphazardly on a tiled countertop and unlocked the old, little white car.
She sat in the back-seat of the car, as she always did. It was unsettling, her mother thought, that her eight- - no, almost nine-year-old daughter did not complain or ask why it was that she was not allowed to sit in the front. When she'd still been pregnant, she had envisioned a little girl full of energy, forever bouncing and laughing and moving and talking. She had prepared herself to fend off an endless barrage of nonsensical questions and curious eyes. And then her husband had gone away and there were no questions or bright eyes from either of them.
On this day, things were no different. Mother and daughter were silent, as though there was a huge black abyss keeping them apart, and though one tried to build a bridge to cross the ravine, the other shook her head no and turned away.
When they had reached the parking lot of the elementary school, her mother stopped the car and Karen made to open the door.
"Karen," her mother said, her face turned to the window-shield.
She paused and turned her solemn little face toward her mother.
"Karen," her mother began again, still not looking at her, "don't forget your lunch."
She never forgot.
She nodded and the car door was halfway open when her mother spoke again.
"Have a good day at school, dear."