She watched him shrug his shoulders, casually ignoring her pleas for acknowledgement of her existence.
Her heart beating fiercely, almost too violently. It might just explode right out of my chest, she thought to herself. That would be funny, her imagination wandering on, how people would look over my casket, “tut-tutting”, their tongues knocking their front teeth with sad amazement of how a person so young could literally die of a physical broken heart.
When her mind came back to reality, she was still standing in the same spot. By the doorway of the kitchen. The onions had been sliced, the meat diced, the tomatoes awaiting their fate on the chopping board.
She didn’t know whether to go back to the hissing pot of oil over the roaring flame of the stove, or to drop everything right there and then and just leave. Quietly. Without much of a fuss. She wondered if he would even notice her absence.
Each day-each day of this vicious cycle of love and war-she had died a few thousand deaths.
Yet she was still there, standing. On the very floors that held her solid body in place. Age might have given her a few more lines around her her eyes, but it had also given her wisdom and a constant rebirth that only the Lord could finalise.
She thought of her children. The pain of childbirth almost killed her, but she survived.
She survived to hold her children in her embrace, thus giving her a daily reason to live.
Slowly, she turned back to the stove and gently shoved the slices of onions into the pot. She reached for the wooden spoon standing defiantly in the chaos of the stainless steel cutlery holder. For a brief moment, she allowed herself the pleasure of feeling the worn-out grains, her fingers running carelessly against the magnificent organic knots of the warm wood. How wonderful this spoon is, she remarked to herself. Humble, yes. But oh, so beautiful and strong.
She stirred the onions, allowing them the pleasure of turning a golden caramel brown. In went the tomatoes, then the meat. In a half an hour, dinner would be ready. Family fed, children bathed, house brought back to equillibrium, she would drag herself to sleep.
Today, she had triumphed. Today, she chose patience. Today, she loved.