Tallulah: warm water cold touch

I leaned back in the bath. It had been so long since I had felt so submerged in water, it reminded me of my baptism when I was nine: my parents had always said they'd let me decide on a faith. It was a year later that my father was to die in a car crash but I didn't know that. And I also didn't know that my mother would turn to the wrong methods of aid, and would kick me out of my home in a drunken fog at the age of seventeen.

The vicar had been a skinny creature, in his late twenties. He had told me there was nothing to worry about, and how it was very quick and I would feel much better for it. And I did. At that point of time I thought it was amazing. I was rather religious for a good three years afterwards. After my mother found alcohol...well. I hid it away. I still prayed, but I got lifts to church from my friend. Everyone there would say they hoped my mother would get well again, and how they wished for the best.

The waitressing post at the bar was the only job I could find. I knew what it held in store-from the start. In the interview my employer looked me up and down and said that I was the right shape for this position. He'd meant I was pretty, I would be the thing keeping the drunkards from moving to the next bar. I hated it: everywhere I saw people falling into the same pattern I'd seen my mother take. And the looks they'd give me...I prayed each night for better things to come, for strength to be above it all. Maybe these people and this house was a sign. Of better things to come.

I took the new clothes and after I'd dried and dressed I surveyed the result. The jeans fitted properly, and the top was a little baggy but still warm. Maybe things would pick up. I touched my face to see if it was all real: my fingertips were cold as my mind had been that night. Maybe things would pick up. Or maybe they would just take a different direction, whatever that was...

The End

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