She picks the glass
up in one hand, the other hand holding a phone to her ear. There's only a murmur of "mhmm," and "yeah," as she only half listens to the mundane life updates and complaints on the other end.
She wanders over in her bare feet to the small water cooler they have set in their apartment, filling the cup halfway before lifting her finger from the button. Her father continues to drone on, and she feels guilty because she wants to tell him she has things to do, or someone else was calling, or anything that will get her off the phone.
"I just wish he would talk to me, tell me what's going on." She realizes they’ve changed conversation topics.
"I can barely get him to talk to me," the woman attempts to soothe or commiserate--however he wants to interpret it. She sounds like she's given up. She sounds tired; she always sounds tired. "And ever since that weirdness with the supposed visions, the talking to god--never mind that my mom and his wife won't do anything about it. There's not a lot I can do from over here, either." Her relationship with her brother, like most of her relationships with family, is strained. As time passed, and his stint with the Marines ended, he had become more and more mercurial
. Since, the relationship with her sibling has only continued to strain, until she’s not sure anything is left holding them together.
"Well, at least I have you." Her father continues, and the guilt weighs heavier on her shoulders. She should make more time to visit, to call, to at least send a text message.
"Yeah," she agrees, though she doesn’t sound entirely genuine.
"Did you talk to Catherine this morning?" The stepmother: another once strong relationship, now strained.
"No." Short, clipped.
"She said she was going to call you."
"Well, she didn't."
There's silence on the other end of the line, and she starts to think that, maybe, this call will finally end. "Catherine said to tell you she loves you. She misses you." She takes a sip from the glass and says nothing. "I know that you two aren't exactly seeing eye to eye right now--"
She snorts, "That's an understatement."
Her father ignores her, "but I think maybe you should call her." Again, she says nothing, "I think maybe you two can work this out and it would make me happy." It's a weak attempt to cajole
her into making the call, but the powers of persuasion have never been her father's strong suit.
“I’m just not sure if I can. Every time I try to talk to Catherine, it ends in a fight.” The truth was, it was mainly on the woman’s side as she had been rather pugnacious
(rightly so if you were to ask her) when talking with her stepmom as of late.
"Maybe just send her a text message, then?" He suggests, not getting the hint.
"Can we talk about something else?" Her tone blunt, sharp. He agrees, and they move on. He talks about work and of her younger sister. During the entire conversation, she can't help but think that her father is incredibly insipid
, a thought she tends to have while he talks to her about nothing of importance. She’s never been a fan of small talk.
She's grateful when the call ends, but the guilt continues to weigh on her like a behemoth
. She should want to talk to her father; she waited 11 years to meet him, damaged her already tumultuous relationship with her mother to live with him for a time. Except, everything is different now.
She tucks her phone into her pocket, leaning against the kitchen counter so that she can touch the cold glass of water to her head. It feels nice, and she decides to move past the conversation with her dad. Instead, she picks up the book
that she had abandoned on the counter nearly twenty minutes ago when her phone rang. The glass of water is left behind in the kitchen as she plops down on the couch, reading a metaphor about a elm
tree that she doesn't quite understand. Then again, her mind is distracted. The conversations with her stepmom have been obscene
, and she doesn't fancy instigating yet another discussion that will have one, or more likely both of them, in tears. Once more the book is abandoned, tossed aside, and the woman wanders back into the kitchen seeking out the glass of water.
When she reaches for the cup, she knocks it onto the tile floor. A spray
of water hits her legs, and shards of glass spread across the kitchen. It's only natural
that she burst into tears, even though the cause may not be merely the broken cup. Crouching, she starts to pick up the broken pieces, so familiarly fractured, and split apart.
Things between her and her mother are often tense, causing her to walk on eggshells lest she angers the matriarch. Even when things are going well between them, there's a pocket of anger and resentment that continually rests in her heart for things that can never be undone. Her grandma’s number is blocked on her phone--a relationship too toxic to even allow a quick holiday greeting. She has cousins on her dad’s side of the family, people she hardly knows anything about. Her brother moved halfway across the country, and when he returns he's different, his mood swings becoming similar to that of the parent they had growing up. Not to mention that he has pushed her away because their views are too different. No attempt to apologize or fix what was will ever be enough for him. He never missed her while he was gone, anyway, as he had no problem telling her. Her stepmom was once the person keeping her alive when everything was just too much
, and now she can't stand to talk to her; the hurt runs too deep for anything to return to normal. Since moving away she hardly thinks of the dad she didn't know for half her life, and she is often annoyed when talking with him. That, though, comes more from his actions and decisions that followed from the knife shoved into her heart by her stepmom. All the relationships straining against one another, on the edge of shattering permanently.
The woman eyes the pieces of glass on the floor, wondering if maybe she can glue or tape them back together. Hours later, when her wife comes home, she's found doing just that. Each piece of glass put together with painstaking care, only for the thing to be jagged, crooked, and ugly looking. "What are you doing, my love?"
Tears spring into our character's eyes as she glances at the horrendous art project. "I just… I just wanted to find a way to fix it."