As soon as the door opened the air went frigid. The walls became darker, not just from the shadow of the door, like parchment paper drowning in a sticky swamp. The heavy clods across the floorboards portrayed the sturdy mass of the body of her mother. The superior breath seethed around the room, taking in the faults, huffing out the disgust of the surroundings. The smallest of sounds escaped her mother’s throat. That most familiar of sounds that meant she did not approve. The sound that always rippled through her numb legs, like a stormy sea crashing on jagged dead nerves. Her teeth bore into themselves. Her hands grasped each other, looking for comfort. Her nails pressed into her skin giving another point of pain to hold onto. A better pain than reality. A pain she could control.
Then her mother’s bulk was behind her, blocking the frigid air. A presence that she couldn’t escape.
She felt those gripping fists on the handles of her wheelchair and the firm push full of barely hidden violence.
There was nothing she could do.
It was time.