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#192: Talk

#192: Talk
Odd Spot - The Age - 06/09/2022

Grace was running her fingers along the glass cup’s edge, trying to scrub away the stain that had built up over years.

Rory walked into the kitchen. She didn’t look up from the sink and just listened to the sounds her son made. The pantry door squeaked open, another thing she’ll have to get round to doing. He reached in and grabbed the packet of chocolate biscuits from the top shelf. She could hear his shoes flex.

He left the door ajar and pulled out a chair at the bench. The packet of biscuits splits open and Grace can hear Rory shoving his fingers in.

She waits for the sound of him chewing. As a baby, he always chewed with his mouth closed, already sensitive to how others might perceive him.

The glass was as clean as it’ll ever get, so she rinsed it and placed it so it could dry. She grabbed for another cup that didn’t need cleaning because she knew that if she stayed quiet for long enough, he’d want to talk. And if she could keep him here, eating, then there was a chance of some of the food staying in his stomach long enough for him to actually digest some of it.

There were days when he was desperate to talk, desperate to get things off his chest, and then there were days when all she heard were the sobs and retching.

Today, she hoped, was a day of talk.