She dipped her hand into the warm, soapy water, releasing the scent of pine oil throughout her kitchen. Her hair fell into her face and almost into the water as she retrieved her scrub brush from the bottom of the suds-filled bucket and envisioned the image of a singer with blonde and red streaked hair, with a fashion sense ahead of her time, singing about that very subject. As the beating of the song’s rhythm fell in time with her own heart, she recalled the harsh words she exchanged only hours ago with the person she loved best and most in the world.
“…Confusion is nothing new…”
Why? she asked herself as the warm water dripped from her cleansing tool onto dark grout lines.
“Sometimes you picture me…I’m walking too far ahead…”
She pushed her frustrations of misunderstanding, of raised voices, of emptiness into the floor as she wondered if an onlooker, should one appear, would compare her to Walt Disney’s Cinderella singing about a nightingale; sadly, her song was not so sweet.
“You’re calling to me…”
Tears mixed with water and Pine-Sol on the already soaked tile, as she knelt in a penitent posture, wishing away pain, willing it to wash away from her soul, to be clean like the floor she was so diligently scrubbing.
“Secrets…stolen…from deep inside…”
Her wrist wiped across her eyes in an attempt to dry them, but her hands were already wet.
“Time after time…time after time…time after…time,” echoed the striped-haired singer through the Bose speaker on the counter, the one she bought herself when she felt he asked more than he should have…but, if she were honest with herself and with him, he had not asked her at all. She volunteered. Her main complaint in the earlier yelling fest had been of him not getting her, of taking too much without returning…but even that was gone now.
Her hands returned to moving in circular motions across the squares, creating shapes in soap that really weren’t there…just appearances…impressions.
Maybe I’m the one who should apologize?
The song on her Pandora 80’s station changed, and her mood followed as the tears shed only moments ago soaked deeply into the grout outlines around squares of hard, cold rock.
She pulled out her mop and towel and began the work of rinsing over the soap bubbles (and tears)…a baptism of sorts for the floor, which bore the weight of all their harsh words to one another, their flippant remarks. She pushed the frayed towel around with her feet, soaking the rising water into fibers of blue cotton.
Have I any hope for redemption now?
(lines of the song used are from “Time After Time” written by Cyndi Lauper and Rob Hyman)