You run water into a bath and squirt the bottle of bubbles until it wheezes out an empty sigh. You feel childish, squeezing this blue liquid into what was slowly becoming steaming water and you know it means something is bothering you in the world. It's only when you do things like this, sighing vulnerably at the forming puffs, that you can tell something is not quite content inside of you. You don't know what it is, it doesn't matter what it is, but something inside of you is telling you that if only for awhile you need to forget the world. Slowly you sink yourself into the bath, feeling the sting of the heat and realising that if you don't add a dash of cold water your skin will soon be peeling off.
For years you had been afraid of baths and elevators though you were still afraid of those in part. Fear stopped you from doing many things and even though you accepted the things you didn't do because of fear you never accepted it would always be that way.
With water sinking across the body you lean down further into the bath and rested your head on the edge. Like many baths, or so you thought you had only ever known two baths, it was not long enough to have legs extended. Despite being small you had your legs rested on the taps at the other end of the bath and soon they would grow cold and you would bunch your knees up into the air instead.
You remember the book and feel the steaming air on your chest as you pull it off the sink before slipping back down into the heat. It was rare these days that you read and rumbling around in the junk store with your sister she had commented on the pile of books that were $4.95 or three for $10. These were the authors you felt sorry for; their books resigned to being dragged into a junk store as leftovers, selling for less than the tree was worth. You had laughed as she had pulled over a book she been forced to read in high school and its place on the unkempt pile proved the worth she had always seen in it. It had made you want to read again.
The book was one that you had also read in high school, though out of choice and the fact that it sat on your bookshelf proved it. The only reason you had decided to read it tonight was because you knew you could get through it quickly; a book of poetry though a story, what you think is technically called prose. You had forgotten what it was like to read.
As a child your life had been entwined with books. You think it's almost typical, the girl with few friends spent her time making them in places which would always end. The books held your dreams; knights and ponies and the occasional spot of magic. You were however a very realistic child and knew that no one was about to come and crown you a princess.
With your elbows sinking further into the water you turn page after page, finding this person that you realise you had forgotten. It makes you want to dream again. Not the dreams of childhood but the real dreams, the ones that you thought could one day happen. You knew you were never going to be a princess but you thought you could change the world. No one ever told you what to be in life but people were always saying you could change the world. That's the thing with people, they can't tell you what to do so they tell you you can do anything and you believed them. Now you're a 21 year old helpless girl with no future. Perhaps that's why you're in the bath. Regret seeps into you every now and then as you look at your past and realise there's no future attached to it.
The book was chosen for brevity and as you flick over the last page and sink down further. The water has grown cold and you wonder if the only reason your fingers aren't wrinkled is because they've been cooling in the water. You close your mind to dreams once and place the book carefully back onto the dry sink. Despite the book being closed the dreams have not left. You know it's foolish, you know you're not going to change the world but of course you want to. When you were younger you thought you could, but even though desire sits there now you know it is only fleeting. You can accept things like that these days.
If you told people you were not going to change the world because you were afraid they would probably look at you and tell you to bite that fear in the face. Maybe because it is a metaphoric gesture it's either said than done. You're content to not change the world, you're not going to put a lot of effort into changing when you don't think you need to change. You've always hated it though when someone stands up and says I don't care if people don't like me because I'm me and I'm allowed to be me. As long as you were nice and caring and all those good words you didn't need to change yourself into someone that could be something to the world.
With the cold beginning to seep into your skin you pull your body from the bath, pulling the plug on the way. Careful not to knock the book off the sink you drag the towel around you, swiping the water out of your hair. At the end of the day this is you, a girl standing wrapped in a towel that could be softer holding dreams of changing the world which you know isn't realistic. And you're perfectly alright with that.
The splashing of the dregs of water startles you as it always does and you laugh a little. There are some things you'll always be afraid of, and every world needs the small girl in the corner. Without that the story turns down the drain without a twist and even if you don't quite know it, changing the world isn't always noticeable.