Tobacco Pine

It’s all there in her mind. She can see it unraveling in front of her as her hands plunge deeper into the soapy water. 

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. 

They are tangled together in sheets. His amber hair grabs some reflection of the sunlight coming through those disgusting blinds they had to buy. They really are awful. She almost has to squeeze her lips to keep the thought from escaping her mouth.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. 

She pauses a moment as she calls up the day they purchased the blinds for their new home eight years ago. Eight years? That couldn’t be right. She stops the almost mechanical motion of her hands  now in the water to do the math. She never really could multitask and do math. It required thought. It required attention, much like the man in the bed. Her hands started moving again as those thoughts broke through. 

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. 

She had gone unnoticed. Apparently the activities in those newly laundered sheets  had their full attention. She had been able to slip through the screen door and cross the length of the old farmhouse in a few long strides. No floor boards creaked. No wind rustled the leaves. No forewarning sounds that time was to be forever divided. 

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. 

It was embarrassing for her. Not the kind of embarrassment you should feel when someone lets you down. It was embarrassment for what she had witnessed. It took her back decades to when she was innocent to the ways of the wicked. She was embarrassed these images would never leave her. She was no longer innocent to the conditions of the outside world. 

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. 

The way he had stroked her long, golden hair, the way he had never taken his eyes off of hers, it was disgusting and devastating at the same time. At one point she had lifted her hand to cover her mouth, but it had been too late. The darkest of green bile had risen to her throat and some how had managed to leave her body as quietly as possible. That was the part that gave her away. That damn Tabacco Pine that she had fallen in love with when they had ripped up the carpet. Oh, how she had danced around in her ripped jeans and Pink Floyd tee covered in drywall dust just admiring the beauty of that hidden gem under the drabby carpet. Then, just like her marriage, she put in all the hard work. She combed the beauty for any holes, cracks, or exposed dangers. She crooned  “Amazing Grace” on her hands and knees as she worked to sand off the 50 years of hard labor the floor had endured. Aftewards came the chemical stripping, oil bath, and repeated caressing with the old piece of cotton. She had finally finished the beauty late one Thursday evening in September. She took off all her clothes, grabbed a bottle of wine, and laid out on the magnificent slab of butter, just enjoying the energy the house seemed to put off. She had put her blood and sweat into those planks. She felt like she had left part of her heart in those wood grains, and now, here she was, completely betrayed by them. She stared down at her feet, distantly aware that the contents of her stomach were now seeping into those old cracks. She was also vaguely aware that she was no longer unnoticed. The scurry of movement in front of her was violent. She didn’t dare look up. She simply turned her body towards the kitchen and silently commanded movement in her legs. Before she understood why or what she was doing, she was standing over the large sink with her hands submerged. 

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. 


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