Heallen’s hands stung from the hot water of the cleaning sink. She took them out and shook off the droplets from her pinkening skin. Evening had settled in, and she’d missed it, so lost in her thoughts she’d been. More like a whirling tumult of repeating questions. Who am I? Why is pink my favourite colour? Why don’t I know who I am? How did I lose myself?
The question bombardment was relentless, noisy, ugly.
Heallen shook her head. “Enough!” she muttered.
Leaving the wet dishes to air dry, she walked the few steps to her shelf, the only place in her home that was solely hers. She selected the thickest, blank journal she could find, scooped the clutter off the nearest seat (not hers solely), tossed it onto the eating table, then lifted the seat and placed it at the table.
Sitting down, she opened the journal and started scribing the title page: ‘My Adult Story’. Flicking to the next page, she wrote ‘Questions’ at the top. Determined to get the relentless questions out of her head, she lifted her writing tool and started scribing . . .
Cramps gripped her writing hand, and Heallen leaned back. The muscles in her back and neck seemed to groan as she stretched and unkinked them.
It had taken her hours to write 12 pages of questions, a repeating question at the top of each page, with her instinctive answer under each, leading to more questions. Each page looked like a messed up puzzle, with arrows and strikethroughs and circled sections.
At least the persistent questions were out of her head now. Blessedly, her mind was as quiet as it could get for any mother, household manager and unsatisfied person.
Even now knowing she was unsatisfied with her life, when she had crafted her current story to be exactly how she’d always wanted it to be since a child, was a relief in itself.
Ideas for how to recraft her life would have to wait until morning . . .