It felt like any other day as the whistling of the kettle yelled at me to get back into the kitchen to finish preparing breakfast. As I prepared the tea, I felt a tightness in my stomach and a feeling along the top of my throat, as if last night's dinner would come back up at any moment.
A scent of peppermint infused the air as I held up a tray piled high with healthy fruits, vegetables, and "exotic cheese", as my mother calls it. With my right hand, I held the tray and grabbed a few napkins before walking into the dining room. It was empty at the moment, but soon mother would come for her first meal and take over the entire room with her loud presence. Immediately, I placed the tray at her spot before slipping over to the curtains.
They were a basic grey and fully covered the windows. Opening them in opposite directions, I captured the sun's light as it shone through the window. Because the room was dimly lit earlier, I shut my eyes immediately bacause of the suddne light. However as I adjusted to the brightness I look out onto the farm. There was nobody there to attend it during this time, but soon the man with the old looking overalls would come and pick at the wheat. Just like how he did any other day.
I place my hand onto the warm glass and let my eyes roam the peacfullness of the scenery. There was not much but a large wooden pole next to the road. Across the road - which was our side yard - were the pigs and chickens. And of course, the pigs were having their daily mud bath as the mama chicken laid her eggs in the coop, "Congratulations Mrs.Red."
Intense pain stung my stomach, prompting me to place my hand on top of it; soon after, I heard a growl coming from my belly.
"How about chicken for dinner, Darling?"
I turned around and mother was already sitting down in her usual spot. A squared cut pineapple tangling from the fork she had in her grip. On her back, her dark curly hair was tied in a ponytail and went as far as her lower half. Some white hairs, however, peaked though, not a testament to the multiple times I had to re-dye her hair.
"O-or maybe the...the left over pork from last nights dinner?"
"Ah yes! I almost forgot about those. Wouldn't want to waist food wouldn't we?"
When I walked over to the other side of the table and over to the wall, I saw a picture of me and my mother when I won the spelling bee during school...but it wasn't much of an accomplishment since I was the only one to participate. Under the picture, I bent down and grabbed mothers shoes. Their were her usual pair, the black ones with the thick box-like heel.
"Of course not mother. How about I cook us soup with it, maybe with some rice inside as well?" I looked over at her as I grabbed the heels, and she was eating the remainder of her meal. She nodded and smiled pleasantly. "Shall I go grab some veggies from the garden then? I noticed that you started your new diet - look how skinny you became!" SHe pointed at my stomach and I could only smile, feeling satisfied with myself as well.
I bent down and replaced her slippers with the pair of heels I picked up, slipping them on as usual.
After standing I while looking at her, running my hand along my slim waist, "Don't I look -"
"Yes yes, Ryland, you look wonderful. Don't get ahead of yourself now!" Standing up, she pushed the empty metal tray to my chest. "Now how about you be a dear and wash this up for me, mhm?"
My gaze was only fixed on the plate before I grabbed it and nodded slowly. Having played a game like this with me before was not something new for mother. After a few compliments and a boost in selfconfidence, she would suddenly say the opposite or push me away. Despite the fact that she would be proud of me, she would point out that I could do better. No matter how many times I checked something off her imaginary list of "things Ryland should do", I would still lack.
But it seemed to be a normal thing that some mothers would do I suppose. Having read countless books over the years, there was always a mother in the fictional tales that represented my own mother. Having never met anyone else besides my parents, I am left with only my books to give me an understanding of the outside world, but only ones that mom would pick out for me.
Somehow after daydreaming I arrived at the sink and was quick to wash up the dishes that had been left over from the other day.
"I'm going to pick the vegetables now, Ryland. I want you to place the meat outside the refrigerator please." Clicking shoes and the noise of water running from the faucet were all that could be heard in the house.
"Actually mother, I have something to ask you!" After turning off the sink, I gave the siliverwear one last wipe before putting them on the rack to dry. I wiped my hands along my shirt before skipping over to the dinning room entrcance way where I was met face to face with her. It took me a moment to compose myself after stumbling backwards. When I pondered what I wanted to ask her, my heart started racing.
The only thing I could do was stare at her with unease. Taking a closer look at her face, I noticed creases extending from her forehead and a few wrinkles on her mouth and cheeks. In spite of her desperate attempts to conceal them, her freckles and beauty marks were still clearly visible.
Her lips were lined with some sort of pencil and filled in with a bright red lipstick, which complimented her pale skin tone. Her eyes were hazel were one of her most beautiful feature.
In most cases, the time when you become a senior is the time when you aren't too concerned about your physical features. From what I understand, this is a time for relaxation and peaceful enjoyment. However, mother seems to do the complete opposite. Her appearance seems to be trying to make her appear twenty-five despite her age. In our case, it doesn't seem to be working out.
She laughed at me, leaning against the white boarder of the entrance way, "My look at you, stumbling around like a toddler."
All I could do was laugh awkwardly, "Haha, y-yeah..."
"Now what was it that you wanted to ask me?"
"You know how it's my birthday soon and I just wanted to ask-" I was cut off.
"Ok, ok, Ryland, please. I always tell you to stop with the whispers when you're speaking to me." She leaned forward and patted my head.
"Yeah....So, Okay well. You know how its my birthday in a few-"
"Oh no no no, that's not possible. Your birthday was only a few months ago!" She smiled and walked over to the back door. I paced behind her, eager to improve on last year's answers, hoping get a better one this time.
"A-actually it was last year!" I exclaimed excitedly as I thought of all the fun things that could happen on that special day.
"So I was wandering if I could go see the big balloons in the sky ..."
"... and obviously you can come with me..."
"I-I just think since I'm older now and more mature, that maybe you could trust me and -"
"But Mother-" I stepped forward.
"ENOUGH, NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU ASK YOU ARE NEVER LEAVING THIS HOUSE, EVER!" She yelled, and I couldn't help but wince from the sudden rage. As I sat back, I gripped onto the wooden top of the chair and went into stunned silence. I could only look at her with wide eyes as they itched and felt irritated. Soon noticing that tears were welling up.
Mother noticed too, leaning against the wall and pinching the bridge of her nose with a sigh, "Oh don't look at me like that, I'm not the disobeadient one in this conversation."
In the midst of the silence, a tense vibe surrounded us. I moved back once again, but this time walking over to the window, turning my gaze away from her. My heart seemed to be beating outside of my chest as I clutched and twisted the hem of my shirt.
"Let's not have this conversation again, Ryland." In a stern voice, she spoke. After hearing the door open and close, I glanced back to make sure she was gone before laying my back against the wall and slipping to the ground.
Staring aimlessly at my feet, I managed to hold back my tears. "You idiot."
Several minutes had passed by, but it surely felt like hours had instead. When I look at the clock, I am only reminded of the chores around the house that I must complete. I wanted nothing more than to lie in bed and take a nap, or even take a bath to relax.
It wasn't until I heard heavy footsteps coming from the front porch that I resisted standing up. Without having much time to imagine what was happening, the front door suddenly flew open and I was quick to hide behind the chair. I caught only a quick glance of the person, who was definitely no one I had seen before.
"Fuck....shit shit shit!"
I ducked under the table, trying to see if I could get a better look of the man. Soon enough I found a good spot where I could see his whole body. He didn't seem like any other man I have seen before. No beard, no wrinkles, no pot belly or overals like the farmers across from us.
He wore a navy blue hoodie, dark jeans, and worn out shoes. Dark and disheveled hair adorned his head. And a few cuts horribly decorated his cheek.
The man sighed heavily as he approached the door and looked through the peephole. In a hurry, I scurried over to the kitchen and grabbed the heaviest thing in sight, a pot. Standing up, I slowly walked over to the second kitchen entrance.
"Finally." Another sigh of relief left his lips.
As I walked closer behind him, I bit onto my lip and held my breath as I collided the pot onto his skull just as he turned around. In disbelief, I stood there and stared at him as he fell. Dropping my "weapon" onto the wooden floor next to him.
"I-I just killed someone!"