Reads: 179

Eryx was still there, standing in the stream of frigid water, obediently scrubbing at his elbows. Aerope reached over and selected “off.” Then she draped the red towel over her son’s shoulders and started drying.

“You should’ve taken your clothes off before you started,” she said.

“Sorry,” he mumbled. It came out as “soewwy.”

“Or at least your shoes.” She noted the water oozing from their soles.

“You forgot to tell me.”

Funny how things like forgetfulness could run in the family.

“Well,” she said, head down, “ should have thought of it.”

He didn’t attempt a reply. Instead he stood patiently as his mother, deflated of her anger, refilled with shame at her Unreasonable rage, finished drying him. He noticed that she was being a little gentler now.

Aerope stood. “Come on,” she said. He followed her to the front door. “Take off your shoes.” He obeyed and she opened the door. “Wait here.” He did. She soon returned with two fresh towels. They were laid on the floor. “Walk.” He went until the end of the second one. She stopped him and moved the first one to the front. “Walk.” Again he went to the end of the towel. Stop. Move towel. Walk. In this way the towels, boy, and mother made their way to the bathroom.

Aerope stripped her son to the briefs and put him into the first aid machine. After selecting the relevant anatomical structures that needed care, she told him, “When it’s done, go upstairs and get dressed again. And then come to the kitchen and I’ll give you a treat.”

His eyes lit up and he grinned. “I love you, Mommy.”

“Mhmm,” she said absentmindedly and hit enter. The machine hummed to life as she picked up the ruined clothes and walked out.

Submitted: January 29, 2013

© Copyright 2022 Iskah E Shirah. All rights reserved.


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