On the chopping board, she watched her hands moving mechanically dicing the onions, the potatoes, the carrots..
Yes! Her hands!
Her hands have acquired a life of their own lately. They have such amazing skills that couldn’t possibly be hers. They chop, cut, and dice; they handle spice containers, stir, test, and touch; they change nappies, clothes, and bed sheets; they clean, wash and tidy; they pat and cuddle; they can’t be hers.. especially because of the wrinkles!
Four years of zillions of chores that her hands have become so familiar with. They are experts now. As she follows the rhythmic movement of the knife on the board, it seems more and more like they belong to someone else.
It’s been four years since she held -with these same two hands- her first baby boy. She was so young; 18 years old, wasn’t she? It feels like an eternity…. She stares at the wrinkle lines creeping all the way from the tips of her fingers to the middle of her wrists.
May be her hands need some rest! After all, she is always doing something for the kids or the house. Her veins have popped up under her prematurely aging skin, but she has never complained. Never once did she express or show tiresomeness, or fatigue, or boredom, or intolerance; she never actually told anyone that she is craving a stroll down the street with free hands… hands that are actually hers.
One night during dinner, and as if an overpowering force was extracting the words from her, she muttered shyly: “You know, I was thinking, may be it will be better if we start taking the kids to a nursery now. I mean the boy will be joining school anytime soon and it will be a good preparatory stage for both of them before it’s time for school.”
She fumbled with her fingers and gazed at the veins throbbing on her wrist, conscious of how the skin looks darker than the rest of her arm. Her face was red, her heart beating fast, and she was breathless. She was full of hope… and guilt!
He took one look at her, his eyes traveling to her wrists too. Is he reading her thoughts? She panicked!
Going back to his now-half-empty plate, he said: “Yes, sure. I will start looking for a nearby one! It’s time for you to have some rest too.”
He looked her in the eyes. Oh, no! It is not about this! She is not tired of her own children. She was about to say something, but for some reason, she didn’t!
Few weeks after, she stepped out of the cab driving them to the new nursery where she is going to drop her always bored and fidgety kids for the first time. She is swamped with a crazy mix of guilt and excitement. Are they going to cry?
The boy and the girl smiled sweetly at her, their fingers slipping with excitement from hers to wave goodbye. What a bittersweet sensation.
Standing at the top of the running-down road, wet with winter’s cathartic tears, she was empty-handed! The veins were throbbing anxiously.
She laughed out loud and waved her palms freely in the air. She took one step, and deliciously slipped her hands into her coat’s pockets…
[ This post is written in response to the DPChallenge “Object”