She stood in the elevator watching the number meter rise one by one, starting from the ground up. In a trench coat, tan in color with a little too much makeup on her face, the woman pulled the scrunchie from her hair, letting it flow across her shoulders. One of the walls was a mirror while the other two were of a fabric material, dark violet in color. The lift had that distinct smell, one of air freshener and window cleaner which was probably applied by the maids every day.
The woman looked over to the right at the mirror, catching her reflection. Bringing a hand to her hair, she tried to adjust it a little. Wring it out, push it up to give it that life and curls that she knew she had.
Nothing. It remained wet and flat.
With a sigh she returned to the number meter, which now hit ‘15’ on the mark. The doors opened.
Walking to her right, she stepped out onto an open walk way. When she had first moved here, she was terrified of heights, barely looking down when she left her apartment. The window in her room beside her bed, she also had kept closed.
And one night it started to rain, and the thunder started to roar with authority. She had gone to see how close the storm was despite it being high in the pitch black, night sky. Sudden lightning streamed across the sky and illuminated the whole city. She timidly looked below, noticing for the first time all the people down there, like insects scurrying to find their shelter.
Many nights afterward, clear skies or not, she would look out her window and watch the city with a smile on her face. She imagined all the people, and what they were wondering about on nights like these.
She had never been good at writing, painting, or music. But with a smile on her face as she came up to her door, lost in thought, she blushed at feeling like an artist, glancing out her window. Capturing … the moment.
It was a light feeling, but it was something that never hurt when she put too much faith into it.
Shaking the key as it fitted into its slot, she pushed the door open.
“I’m home!” she called out.
The young lady appeared from the bedroom, light skinned and very quiet, a young girl who lived next door.
“Thank you again for staying so late, we got busy-”
“It’s alright and I never mind. Besides, he’s great company.”
“Tell your parents and brother, I said hello, and thank you again…”
“You said that already,” her young friend laughed before leaving, not asking about pay and promising to babysit again.
The young woman walked into the bathroom, removing her coat and work clothes before heading to bed.
The child slept under the covers, head on the pillow. Dark brown hair, like hers and curly, he breathed in and out softly.
Her five year old son; her sacrifice, joy, treasure and life.
Reaching over, she kissed his forehead and rested next to him. Wrapping her arms around him, she pressed him gently against her. Sometimes, not for his comfort, but hers.
The light in the bathroom remained on. She didn’t get up to turn it off. The room was not too bright, and not too dark, so within moments she fell asleep to the therapeutic sound of light breathing and heavy traffic.
For now, it was enough for the both of them.
So this was an entry for the Flash Fiction Marathon CoT, Category #2: Treasure. I decided to post it up. A few interesting facts: I wrote this in less than one hour. I was with my grandmother at the time, who lives in an apartment complex so the settings were definitely from her. I've had an idea about a working mother for a while, but wasn't sure how to approach it... anyway the contest gave me an excuse. :3
Hope you guys like it, and it had to be under 600 words, if you're wondering why this is a little short. Thanks for the feedback!