She faces the kitchen window that sits over the steel-grey sink. Her three, small children play around her feet.
With her hands plunged into the dirty, warm water she looks distractedly ahead, not seeing the lush foliage of the garden beyond the smudged glass. Instead, she is lost in her own thoughts.
Her thoughts have been triggered by the radio programme she is absent mindedly listening to. Another confrontation between various powerful people, all sounding the same but proudly pronouncing their alleged differences. What they say irks her. What they fail to acknowledge irks her more. The knot in her stomach appears. Frustrated, she turns the volume button down abruptly, and tips the dirty water angrily down the sink. The last of its deflated bubbles seem eager to whirl down the gurgling plug hole.
She snaps out of her gloom, free from the radio debate that dragged her down. She runs fresh water and restarts the therapeutic monotony of washing porridge coated pots. She smiles a wry smile – no point wasting energy thinking about what they were talking about. Why listen to them? The never listen to her. Best to not think about it.
Briefly, relief floods through her.
She realises that during her distraction, the din from her three small boys has become deafening. How did that happen? Perhaps the silence of the radio amplifies their disharmony. They were playing so nicely last time she looked.
She asks them to be quiet. She asks them what is wrong. Still the white noise of their discontent drowns her out. Ineffective, seemingly powerless, she snaps,
“Shut up and listen to me ” ,she hollers, anger flashing in her dark eyes.
Shocked, the little cherub faces fall, devastated at her outburst. The sensitive one runs up the steep cottage-style stairs and shuts the wooden door behind him, silently. The toddler runs out of the room, screaming and weeing all over the stained rug. “That’ll show her.”, he seems to say.
The outspoken one lies across two of the six mis-matched wooden chairs in the spacious kitchen and shouts back as loudly as she shouted at him,
“You. Are not. FAIR”
She reels off, unintelligibly, the myriad of duties she believes she undertakes on his behalf. What on earth does he have the complain about? After the tirade he rolls off the chairs, crawls under the table and says, apathetically,
“I don’t want to speak anymore.”
The children are all of them silenced. This silence should be welcome. But it is unsettling. The boys’ frustration is palpable. She realises their fury will soon erupt again, but this time when the chaos resumes, it will be uglier and less controlled than before. The knot in her stomach reappears.
She needs them to listen. But no matter how loud she shouts, it seems she has lost her voice.
This post is in response to the WordPress Writing 101 challenge. We were tasked with writing part I of a three part series. Watch this space for how this develops, and let me know what you think.