Cracks Never Go Away
By Diana Reza
The mother chopped away at the vegetables, forcing her energy into cutting through the hard yet delicate skin, then slicing straight through the soft inside. The oven was on, warming the already heated air in the room. The girl was at the sink, rubbing and splashing the dishes clean and looking out the window in front of her at the sun that was just beginning to fall onto the other side of the mountain, filling the sky with a vibrant red. The room was filled with silence. The mother saw it was best to keep her lips closed, to hold her thoughts inside. The girl began to mumble angrily to herself, and the mother wondered if it was meant to be heard. Even though she knew better, she opened her mouth.
"What are you saying?"
The girl closed her lips shut, and continued to stack the dishes on the rack to dry.
"Now you don't want to answer me?"
She stayed quiet, staring at the sunset that filled the sky with a bright, red color.
"I'm still your mother and when I was a girl I did my work quietly, never complaining."
"I know. You remind me every time, but you just don't understand."
"I do understand, and I'm only trying to teach you." Truthfully, she didn't understand. She didn't get how her own daughter could become a complete opposite of her.
"I am trying to learn, just not what you want me to learn."
"And you can't do both?"
The girl never bothered to turn around to face her mother, cowardly hiding. The mother, wide-eyed, looked at her daughter not knowing whether to scream, hit her, or let it go. "I never had the opportunities that you have been given. You don't know how much I've had to fight." As she began to remember, she felt the pain all over again, and shoved the memories away once more.
The girl said nothing. The silence became overwhelming.
"Should I make pasta or rice," the mother said, trying to change the subject.
"Your son’s opinion is the one who matters the most, so ask him."
The mother bit her tongue, not wanting to escalate things further, but there was no use. "Leave if you want, I can do everything on my own like I always do."
"That's what you think because you never open your eyes to actually notice all the things I do."
"I notice, but there's not much to see."
The girl stopped washing the dishes, turned around to finally look at her mother. Tears flooded her eyes as her cheeks began to turn red and she bit her lip, hard enough to make it bleed. "You have me for one more year and when I leave, you're gonna finally see everything that I have done to try to get you to love me as much as them." The girl put away one last cup, slamming it into the dish rack, and walked away from her mother.
The mother opened her mouth not knowing what would come out, and to her surprise, nothing did. She let her go; too busy trying to grasp how she could think that she didn't love her.
She walked over to the cup that was last thrown by the girl, and picking it up, she noticed a new crack at its base. Immediately deciding the cup could no longer be fixed, she walked out to the backyard to throw the cup away. As she walked back in she saw the front door close behind her daughter.
The mother walked to the kitchen window and watched her daughter step further and further away. The sun, in a position where it now filled the sky with a plush orange, slowly dimmed before turning to complete darkness.