Getting up, Carol reached for the shower knob. She turned the hot all the way to the left. Steam rose from the water.
The razor called out to her from the sink, where Kevin left it sitting that morning, but Carol forced herself to turn away. She quickly peeled off her clothes and stepped into the shower.
The hot stream hit her face, and the water mixed with her tears.
"Come on. Warm up." Carol muttered, shivering.
Maybe a bath would be better.
She pushed the stopper down in the drain hole. Sitting down, she lay her head back and felt the water slowly rise as it flowed out of the shower head, filling all the empty space around her.
"I'm tired," Carol whispered to the water, "Tired of not feeling. Tired of this conflict inside me. Tired of being cold."
The water was coming down hot, but it seemed to cool immediately once it hit the porcelain tub. Her head felt warm, but she was still shivering. It was a weird feeling....but at least it was a feeling.
Grabbing a lungful of air, Carol allowed herself to sink down under the water.
"One. Two. Three." she counted the seconds in her mind, and concentrated on feeling the water around her, "Four. Five. Six. Seven." she concentrated on the sound of the water falling, "Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven."
Would a little cut matter so much?
What about a big one?
Carol rose out of the water, breathed in deeply and shook her head. "I can't do that to them. The kids are the only ones home, and they would be the ones to find me." The cold felt like it had reached her soul.
The thoughts pressed in, invading the empty spaces in her mind. She pushed them back, and reminded herself that the kids were the only ones home. When the thoughts kept coming, Carol went down the list and whispered each reason, one by one.
The list of reasons she could not commit suicide.
It took her three times going through the list, but finally the thoughts quieted.
"This is what my life has become," Carol told the water, "All I am is a list of reasons I can't kill myself.
I don't think I have a list of reasons to live. That makes me sad."
Something cold hit her eye, and snapped her out of her thoughts. Carol looked up to see that the shower had run for so long, condensation had built up on the ceiling and was now dripping down in little cold splats.
She watched the drops gather, and tried to guess which one would fall next. A thought ran through her mind, "I don't think I've ever cleaned the ceiling. I wonder how dirty these drops are?"
Splat. The drop landed on her left knee. She watched it slide down her leg until it got lost in the water around her, filling the empty spaces.
"If only this water could fill the empty spaces in my life...." and then, she had a thought, such a small spark of a thought, she barely whispered it to the water, "Filling the empty spaces is a reason to live" and with that, Carol turned off the water and got out of the tub.
Water gives life. It also takes it away.
Write a short piece - fiction or non-fiction - inspired by one or both of these statements.
Word maximum is 600.