A mother and son find themselves lost, when trying to escape an abusive relationship they both become haunted by memories that may pull them back into their old lives.
My father liked routine and my mother served him like a good subject serves her king. At six thirty every morning my father awoke on the dot, he would walk to the kitchen to find my mother sitting at the table awaiting the command to serve the toast and coffee, always dry toast and coffee with maple syrup, followed directly and on time either by oatmeal or dry cereal and a crisp unread newspaper. On occasion he would request bacon, eggs and sausage be served if I awoke before he left to work. A slave to his every command she was never allowed to prepare herself for the day until he had read the entire newspaper, finished every bite of food prepared, and the dishes had been cleaned to his specific standards. It was not uncommon to watch her standing in front of the sink for an hour scrubbing a dish to perfection. I tried to stay in bed as long as possible so as to not be in the way and cause more issues but some days he would get me up just to humiliate her, to show me what a horrible job she had done, or how cold his toast was. These were the days I was expected to join him in belittling her, to enjoy the privileges of having a wife.
It was a day I had wished I had risen earlier that I was awakened by the blaring sound of our smoke detector. The kitchen thick with smoke, my mother nowhere to be found, and the stove burning out the bottom to her pot of oatmeal. My father had not returned home and his breakfast was on fire.
I grabbed the flaming pot and quickly threw it into the waiting dishwater, an explosion of steam and smoke flew up into my face as the sink instantly boiled and the flames extinguished in a loud bang. The room was black but at the back of the table I finally saw my mother seated in her chair clutching a newspaper.
“Mama, are you okay?” As I approached her, my socks marinating in my answer, I realized how badly she was hurt. Her face black with soot, hair slightly singed, tears streaming from her reddened eyes. She had just sat there and in her anticipation, and confusion, my mother had urinated in her seat.