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Horse made of glass - Part 4
by Katerina Charisi
2017-06-11 11:01:07
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She felt like her husband was waiting the right word that would make him start his drama and he did enjoy it. How could it be possible for a man to work sun-up to sun-down and nothing ever be as it should be in his house. Why none of them boys, had a sock without holes on them feet and why there was never enough soap to keep his clothes washed and why they had to eat the same poor meals. He would tell her she didn’t show any respect to his efforts and probably wasn’t as good in math at school, for she counted them money wrong since there shouldn’t be nothing they missed in the house and they always had less than they should.

And to make his words more countable he would end his performance by saying that if he ever saw another useless piece of junk in his house like those plastic toy cars she insisted to buy them or balloons or pencils and books he would get them all in a bucket and start the fire in the stove with them. The boys always broke their toys anyways and books were too damn expensive. Why, his own mother never held a book before her eyes to tell him stories and grew up just fine, why she couldn’t use her own brains to make up a bedtime story for them.

He had never read a single line of a book and he’d say that taking some pride, for having skipped this useless habit in his childhood and nothing bad ever happened to him. He was tall as a tree (he would say that by stretching his arms almost touching the low ceiling and the boys giggled) and strong as a bull (and punched the boy’s arm - maybe too hard but the boy would never admit) and he did his work best than anyone else in the town. Reading books doesn’t teach you how money is earned and how to plow your land or build your house or repair your chimney or pasture the goats or shoot woodcocks and blackbirds.

hor01_400_01There was a rainy autumn day, the boy still three or four years old, the rain wouldn’t stop and water ran down the walls in the cold bathroom and wind whistled through the windows. Mist surrounded the place, thick and grey, carrying the heaviness of inaction inside it. They had been inside all day, unable to even sit on the porch for there was nothing above their heads except a piece of iron plate too narrow to let them sit before the front door and watch the rain.

The boy was so bored he became frustrated and she had tried all ways she could think of to keep him occupied and happy, but she was tired herself to play hide and seek or make the same puzzle again and again or put the plastic toy cars in line for the hundredth time. At some point she just let him run up and down and throw the pillows down and scream out of boredom, wishing that day to finally end.

Her husband came home late from work (or wherever he might had been) and he was soaked in water. The dirt and dust had turned into mud and grooved his unshaved cheeks, and though he took off his shoes he left muddy prints all over the floor for his pants was soaked knee high in mud. His toes where white and wrinkled and as he began to say “that was a hell of a day” while shivered, he stepped on a plastic toy crane and choked a yell out of pain. Furious, he took the toy in his hands and squeezed hard and he broke it. She still remembered the boy screaming for the crane was his favorite, but his father just swore and tossed the broken parts away and she remembered that one of them wedged under the bathroom’s door. The boy ran around trying to find the pieces and fell on his knees before the bathroom’s door but even his little thin fingers couldn’t pull the piece out.

She held him in her arms and wished he would stop crying for she couldn’t stand another fight, and whispered to him that she promised to buy him another one soon and she rocked him, her sleeves soaked in snot and saliva, till eventually he calmed down. She helped him find the missing parts but there were still tiny bits lost and never found.

Few days later she thought about telling her husband something like “oh damn, I forgot to buy some bread” and then she would sit quiet and listen to him yelling for her stupidity, but sooner or later he would stop. She would add to her change so she could buy a new toy crane to the boy and that would be worth all the scolding.

She made the boy promise that he wouldn’t say a word about it to his dad, and “it will be our little secret” and shared conspiratorial smiles and giggles and he had said ok. But when they got home the boy ran straight to his father and screamed all happy and in a sunny face “Daddy! Look what mommy got me!”

How could she expect that a little boy would keep his joy secret? It was all over him. How could she be mad at him? He only wanted to share his happiness. He only needed a little attention from the man he loved and admired though she knew that would change once he would grow enough to understand. She still felt left out and she could still feel the bitterness of betrayal she had felt at the moment for losing her only ally in the house.

When they sat around the table her husband asked for the bread and she had no bread to show, but she couldn’t say the “oh damn, I forgot to buy some bread”, for he already knew what she had done to fool him. She just lowered her eyes and waited for it. But he said nothing more.

For the next week he asked her every night what she was planning to cook for the next day and then counted the money and put on the table the exact amount for what she had to buy. Each time though, she found it less. She had to skip her meals and tell him she had eaten already. She knew that he knew what he was doing and she knew that he knew she would stay hungry, but he also knew she would never say a word out of pure stubbornness and that was his way to punish her.


Horse made of glass – Part 1 -Part 2 -Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6Part 7 -


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