These painted walls – a golden honeyed color – are cold and distant. These spacious floor plans – clean, cappuccino tiles set against lacquered bamboo – are empty and unforgiving. This house – built with happy, tired bodies – is lonely.
That is what my mom must see every time she walks the halls, putting one foot in front of the other like synchronized dead weights. She traces her fingertips along the walls and the hanging picture frames of lively, smiling people. Who are they? What are they doing falsifying their happiness yet still rubbing it in her face? Her lips break open into a sad, small smile – the smile that I have become so used to hating that I do not bother to care anymore. I remember when I wanted to smack it off her face as if doing so could suddenly bring life back into her empty body.
She sobs uncontrollably now; sometimes she keeps it bottled inside so we cannot see it, but by now I know better. She shuffles around in unkempt clothes – everything she wears now seems to become decrepit, wilting from the depression that exudes from her very core. Clean, crisp laundered clothes are saved only for lying to the workplace, to the public. No one must know he left. At home – at prison – she can be as depressing as she wants. She stares off into the distance with a blank expression on her face, wondering what she did to deserve this pain and torture. Had he not loved her as much as she did?
Why why why why whywhywhywhy
I hear that word more times than I would like. I want to scream at her to stop. Please Mama, spare me. I feel the pain in this house too. I feel the despair and anguish you fail to hide behind that sickly smile. I know you want to disappear and vanish into the air and leave behind this agony. Please Mama, don’t hurt yourself.
Please Mama, don’t leave me.