Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Dimly Lit Table.
Part Two.

Across the room, while this was going on, three women sat - one on a rocker, one on the love seat, and one on the sofa. The TV was turned to a low volume, the sounds muffled by static as the box crackled and the picture blinked in and out; but the voices from the table in the dimly lit corner floated in between and drowned out the TV. And each syllable she articulated screeched in these women's ears - "Yes. Please. Daddy."

Then, from the table, a chair moved back, scratching against the wooden boards making the floor creak and groan. The sound of slow, mechanical footsteps mimicked the scraping of the rocker as the woman rocked back and forth. She closed her eyes, crossed her hands in her lap and began twiddling her thumbs as she heard the movements in the kitchen. Daddy was making more soup, he ladled big heaping spoonfuls into the bowl. She didn't know why, but the liquid splashing into the bowl pierced her ears so loud and the footsteps back to the table were deafening. Her body noticeably stiffened, her thumbs stopped in mid rotation as she heard - "Daddy made this especially for you."

When she opened her eyes, she saw a movement to her left. The woman on the love seat lowered her newspaper just slightly so the top half of her eyes were visible. This woman's line of sight was focused on the dimly lit table in the corner. Behind the newspaper, her eyes narrowed and squinted through the dark and made contact with the eyes at the table. It was a quick look of recognition and they both knew the other saw. In a split second one was looking down at her soup and other was looking down at her paper; a paper she immediately found uninteresting, so she turned her attention towards the TV.

The TV screen flipped through channels, channel after channel, after channel. It was being controlled by the woman on the sofa who robotically pushed the buttons on the remote. She finally paused when she heard - "I'll clean that up, you go relax on the couch, I'll be right there." The remote controller's body slightly shifted as she involuntarily whipped her head around to witness a disgusting scene; he stood over her while he held her bowl in one hand and stroked her hair with his other. Fuming, the woman on the couch snapped her head back towards the TV. Her arm shot up to the wall unit on her right and her hand expertly found a pack of cigarettes.

The woman on the love seat saw the woman on the couch reach for her smokes and slowly stood up and left the room. She passed the woman on the rocker who was still gently moving back and forth, back and forth. The conversation at the table was hushed and obviously private or the woman on the rocker might have heard the man speak with such love and admiration for the woman in the shadows. Then as she rocked herself to sleep, she had a haunting thought; he was never that way to me.

Once outside, the two women sat side by side . The street lights illuminated identical shadows on the wall. Crawling up the wall behind the woman on the right was a tin line that swayed back and forth. Between drags, she finally spoke,

"Who the hell does that witch think she is?! She doesn't even know what he put us through, God, she thinks this is all a game. I swear, one day I'm going to get out of here. I'll be long gone living the fabulous life, I'll show her. She'll get distracted by all the shiny things I'm flashing in her face and she'll blink and start kissing my ass because I will be the one that has it all."


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