Henry dropped the boxes next to the door as he came back into the house. He looked at this wife sitting on the couch reading. She looked up and smiled.
“How the hell do you do it, Helen?”
“Do what dear?”
“Read with all that noise.”
“Used to it. You know how she gets sometimes and this move is really hitting her hard. Doctor says we might have to sedate her.”
“The fuck we are!”
“Henry William Colby! You best not repeat that ever again!”
“Helen, I’ve just about had enough!”
“Wait! Henry… please!”
Henry ran up the stairs as Helen followed behind him. He was surely upset. More than upset, he was sad, angry. No. It went deeper than that. It scarred him deeply, as deep as his alpha male character allowed it to. He felt helpless, useless. That built up the boiling points in his spirit. It was a volatile character recipe. Not very conducive to accepting anything he couldn’t control.
“Violet! Turn that music down! You’re going to get us kicked out of the entire neighborhood!”
“You’re screwing us over and so what’s the difference!”
Violet yelled back through the door. She was not going to give in. Like father, like daughter. Henry banged on the door until his fist turned red. Violet turned the music up even louder and repeated the track on her phone for a third time. Michael had given her the blue tooth speaker for her 20th birthday. Next to her laptop it was her prized possession. No one had any idea how it was to going to backfire, but boy had it backfired. The household was at the mercy of Violet and her obsession with loud music.
“Henry, please love. I’m begging you.”
Helen said softly through the croon of loud lyrics, drums and guitar. Henry looked at the love of his life, at his red fist and then at the locked door that kept his heart in turmoil. Memories flooded back. A little hand holding out for his was no more than a ghost, teasing him about what could be but will never be.
“I’m never leaving this room! You hear me double H! Never! You won’t ever get me out of here alive!”
Double H indeed. When Violet got angry, she got angry. Henry and Helen were reduced to a single unit, sort of. They became the double H tag team against Violet. That is how Violet saw the matter of Mom and Dad ruling against her. She couldn’t see how much love was behind those fists and screams and sighs out loud. She only saw them pushing, forcing… coercing. It felt like the weight of the world on her little heart.
“Helen, I’m not sure how much more I can take. I gotta get out of here for a while! I’m sorry. I can’t deal with this now.”
Helen closed her eyes as a weary Henry kissed her. He walked away as the music ended. Helen cried from both eyes. Violet let the music end and did not repeat it. She placed her right hand on the door as if wanting to feel connected, as if she wanted to be let out. She was breathing heavy and she felt heat rising then fall inside her. The embers of emotion were cooling but her mind was racing.
“I’m sorry Mom. But I wish both of you would have consulted me. You didn’t even ask how I felt about moving.”
“Violet, my love. This was not done to go against you. It was not done to hurt Violet. The decision came from wanting things to be better for us, all of us.”
“It feels like you want me to suffer. I mean, what does Michael say? He would have told me. You didn’t say anything to him either, did you?”
Helen did not respond. She wiped her tears and got close to the side of the door. There was a small crack where breath and sound could seep through. Violet held her ear there during all conversations. Whispers from Mom kissed her thoughts. This whisper made her regret her anger.
“I love you my little dove. I love you.”
Helen whispered and walked away. Violet sank into herself, into the fetus position next to the door. She lay there a few minutes, simmering in her fears until she fell asleep. A knock on the door startled her back to reality.
Michael spoke softly into the corner of the door. Violet jumped up and held her ear there.
“Michael did you know about the move?”
“No. They told me last night, same as you.”
“Before or after?”
“Before or after what?”
“Did you find out before they told me or after they told me?”
“Violet… what difference does it make? We’re moving and there is nothing to stop it. Dad got this amazing job opportunity. I’m happy for him. Mom can’t work and you…”
Violet’s heart began to race. Why didn’t he finish the sentence? What? Michael was her only friend, her brother, her love. What did he mean by not finishing that thought.
“Yes? Mom can’t work and I… What!”
“Violet, the world is not that bad, you know. It isn’t.”
“It’s vile, Michael.”
“I must be vile too, then.”
“You’re not! Not you!”
“Yes. I must be vile. I must be, if my sister can’t come out of her room for a hug. I must be vile too.”
“I’ll talk to you later. I’m meeting George at Luna’s house for dinner. Too bad you can’t… won’t come.”
“Mike – “
Violet swallowed the pain into breaths that stabbed at her, yielding dull pain in her chest. They ate at her heart. They bubbled up into her throat until she couldn’t swallow and she leaned against the barrier to the outside world. Her back poured down against it like sand through an hour glass. Time was running out. Time was against her. Love… it waited for her, but only outside her world. Her three loves clashed with her fault lines. She closed her eyes. Her left tear duct gave way to a flood that eventually invited her right eye to a party of one.
©2018 Mel Gutiér