*TW: mental illness, implied abuse*
Everything was white. She liked her kitchen to be clean. In fact, sometimes after cooking for her family she would spend hours scrubbing the dishes, the table, and the countertops. It was an issue, really it wasn’t. She just really liked everything to be perfect. If everything was perfect, maybe James would come back home.
Everything was white, sterile, perfect. She had just finished her nightly routine and was about ready to go to bed. Each child got one kiss, directly in the center of their forehead. The sheets needed to be cacooning them just right-she couldn’t risk one of them getting the chills and even worse, contracting a cold.
Everything was white: her nightgown, her sheets, the whisps of grey near her scalp. This was what she told herself when she flickered the lights. On, off. Day, night. Light, dark. It was what she told herself when the house went bump in the night. Most importantly, it was what she told herself when she missed James. After all, how could he leave such a perfect, sterile, white house?
When the house went bump in the night that night, she knew that this time it was something different. Instead of a bump it was a rattle, as if somebody was jiggling the doorknob. Then it was a pounding, somebody trying to get in. Shivering, she peeped out the window-it was James! Panting, she wrenched open the door and pulled him into a tight embrace. She didn’t flinch when she smelled the booze on his skin, she didn’t flinch when he pushed her away, and she most certainly didn’t flinch at what came afterwards. Flinching would make her imperfect, and everything needed to be perfect for James to stay.
Everything was white: the kitchen, the sheets, her pajamas. Everything was white but the bruises on her skin.
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