Lola stared at the blank, white wall full of broken promises. She glanced down at the bucket of paint that held even more and kicked it, stubbing her toe.
She groaned, and buried her tear stained face in her hands.
Before another thought could come, she grabbed the screwdriver laying on the drop cloth and pried open the lid. Lifting the one gallon bucket, one hand on the top, fingers sinking into the burgundy paint and one on the bottom, she flung the bucket forward, as hard as her worn muscles could bare, cascading the paint down the wall.
Her chest heaved, she choked back her sobs, set down the empty bucket and walked out, closing the door behind her.
Lola looked down at her hand covered in paint, and went to the bathroom, turned on the hot water and scrubbed until her fingers felt raw. She looked up to see a face she didn't recognize staring back at her. Deep circles etched under her blue eyes, her rosy cheeks replaced with pale, gray skin. What would he think if he saw her now? A knot welled in her stomach, and sunk down to her heels on the cold linoleum floor. She wanted to get up, she needed to move, but the air felt thicker than it should and her body was too tired.
The sudden realization that it didn't matter anymore swept over her like a cold storm. He was never going to see her like this.
He was gone. He was gone. He was gone.
She repeated these words in her head as she lifted herself off the floor in a daze, passing her bedroom and slowly making her way to the living room.
Sleep had eluded her for weeks, but it was catching her quickly now. Her vision blurred and she felt dizzy. She couldn't go to her bed, their bed. She sat down on the couch, pulling the quilt up to her chin, breathing in a scent that felt like home. Hot tears poured down her cheeks as she closed her burning eyes.
Lola wasn't sure how much time had passed when she reluctantly pried her sleeping face away from the couch cushion to stop the incessant vibrations of her cell phone. She weighed the option of throwing it across the room, but decided against it. If her phone went straight to voicemail too many times they would come.
The screen glowed, showing four missed calls, ten text messages and two voicemails. They could wait, they all could wait.
She tried to steady herself as she pressed herself into a sitting position, but a waive of nausea swept over her frail body. Refusing to give in, she brushed her golden ringlets away from her sweaty face, and willed herself to the kitchen where only a stale box of crackers waited on her.
With shaky hands, she unwrapped the opened package, breaking the only whole crackers left, then dumped them all on the counter. She gathered a handful and shoveled them into her mouth.
Without bothering to look, she reached to the windowsill where the empty cigarette carton laid, and she inhaled deeply the smell from within, then replaced the box gently. She knew, as much as she knew she would have to face her day, that she would need it again.
Then she heaved violently into the trash can. It was hard to believe there was enough in her body to produce so much. Her mouth burned with acid and tasted sour. She reached for her water and swished out her mouth and spit into the sink. Lola felt light headed again. She knew she needed to try and eat something else, but there wasn't anything in the house. She couldn't even remember that last time she went to the store. Another wave of dizziness swept her frail body, and focus grew blurry. She tried to hold onto the counter for balance, but her knees grew weak. Dark circles clouded her vision and she sank to the floor.
Lola barely felt their presence as they lifted her from the kitchen floor and into the bathroom. She hardly cared that her nakedness was laid before them as they lowered her in the tub. It was her mother's sweet humming that roused her out of her comatose state and back into reality.
"Mom..." she whispered faintly.
"I'm here, sweet baby," she returned to her hum, and gently stroked Lola's hair with a wash clothe.
Lola closed her eyes again, and felt the warm water on her skin and the sweet smell of lavender soap.
"I thought lavender would be...I picked it up at the spa...I used the gift certificate you and Kyle..." her mother trailed off. "Oh, Lola, why didn't you call? I would've come sooner. You are not alone, sweetie, you are not alone. You should've called," she sighed. "I had to come check, and I found you, laying there pale as a sheet! Your father helped me get you in here...he's not here now, he's left to pick up food. It looks like you haven't eaten in days...you have to think of the baby, even though it's hard."
Lola's hand trailed to her stomach, and a tear escaped.
"You can't live like this, Lola. I know you blame yourself for the accident, but it wasn't your fault. Kyle is gone, but you have to stay alive, please."
She heard the plea in her mother's voice and her chest tightened.
“I need to get out of here,” Lola whispered.
“Well, your dad and I have been talking,” Gloria said rinsing the soap from her hair, “and we think it would be best if you came and stayed with us for awhile.
Lola laid silently for a moment, slightly taken aback. She had only been referring to the bath. “No,” she whispered, “I can't...I can't go,” her eyes burned again.
“You're not giving up anything, honey, you just can't get through this alone.”
Thank you so much for sharing this with me! The freewrites started this whole story, and I'm excited to make it into a flowing story with an ending! For more info about freewrites, visit @mariannewest!