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The window was covered in charcoal-but in reality it was the night. A doubled version of myself watched me with curious eyes, wide and as dark as outside. The children already went to sleep. My husband too. All that was left was waxy skin and bruised wrists, but I suppose that was the less messy part.

I stood up from the kitchen counter and put down the cup of coffee. There was no point in sitting around, wondering what the rest of my family was up to. I was staring out the window for so long that my cup cooled, so much like the other mannequins in the house.

I pulled open the shower curtain and looked down at the shiny bits of metal mixed with wine. I didn’t waste too much time to wipe away the dripping blush underneath my eyes, sprayed around my nose and mouth like cute, tiny freckles. More roses bloomed on the front of my shirt and on my apron, almost like I was cooking and accidentally spilled something on myself. It smelled metallic.

I quickly untied the apron and picked up the laundry basket, neatly tucking the dirty apron in it and picked up a couple of loose baby clothes near the play area in the back of the living room. I remembered to also take my husband’s red shirt from upstairs along with a pair of wrinkled jeans.

I sorted through all the clothing, separating my children’s clothing with my husband’s and charged up a load of laundry in the washer. With the final click of the button and the lurch of the machine, I threw a brown coat over my dress, just in case anybody could make out smudges. I patted my ready-to-go luggage and small handbag. The brown bag would’ve matched my shoes, if they were a bit cleaner.

I returned to the bathroom and picked up the metal that reflected a crimson in the dim light above the sink. It almost looked tawny yellow under the dingy light, but it was just a trick of the eye. Another one. I quickly tucked it in my pocket and tugged the shower curtain shut. The children were still nicely tucked upstairs, but my husband is quite a messy sleeper.

I tossed the keys into the bushes my children used to play in after I locked the door. I wasn’t going to need them. I flipped the luggage around before walking down the tiny porch stairs my husband built over the summer. I waved at the taxi driver and ducked under the passenger seat. He smiled kindly at me, speaking a language I could barely comprehend. I just nodded obediently and smiled back at him.

Perhaps he saw a little freckle on my lip. He quickly looked away with a troubled frown. Or perhaps I smiled a little too wide? No matter. The metal was slippery but cold in my hand. It was enough.

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About This Story
3 Mar, 2021
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2 mins
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4.6 (5 reviews)

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