There’s a temperature – not too warm, not too cold, just right – where I am caught for hours. Thousands of tiny water drops form like islands in an ocean upon the inner wall of the shower stall. Streams run down, connecting the islands and growing bigger to eventually drop to the puddle at my feet. As the water hits my forehead, eyelids and cheeks a comfort settles, knowing no matter how long I stand here, the water won’t stop. Sooner or later all of the thousand islands will be connected and new ones will form. The streams reaching my feet will not stop streaming and the flow will keep wrinkling my hands. I lean left and the shower hits my shoulder creating a waterfall.
Two streams run along each other on the wall, picking up pace from every droplet, yet, they never connect. Once again two streams run alongside. There must be a path they’re following destining them to never connect. Around my side at the level of my waist they’re at their closest. It almost gives me a sense of hope. Maybe if I turn up the water pressure the drops will increase. But nothing happens. Maybe if I turn up the heat to unbearably hot, the steam will connect them. But no and that temperature is lost.
Tiptoeing, only leaving small traces of water on the two bathroom rugs, on my way to the mirror. I wipe away a layer of steam. The face is gaunt. Not the young girl I once was, but I guess not yet the woman I will become. Maybe a smile, yes; still youngish. It’s odd. Every time I stand too long in front of the mirror I feel the need to brush my teeth.
One quick knock on the door.
“Elsa, come on!”
“Just brushing my teeth.”
The irises expand. Is it a sign of lying? The pajamas his mother gave me make me look like a toddler. They’re cute. Yes, they are cute. I shouldn’t. She means well. Let’s just put them on and not think about it too much.
He sits on the sofa looking at the TV.
“Elsa, what took you so long?”
He shuts off the TV and faces me, reaches out his hand and I grab it. He pulls me down next to him.
“Just thinking about what you said.”
He stares for a little while and plays with the fabric of the pajamas. “And?”
“Yes.” I sigh and nod. Because it’s not easy and he should know it. “…I’ll follow.”
“Great! You’ll have to learn English of course, but the best way to learn English is to live there. I’m going to call my boss and my mother and tell them we’re moving!”
“I guess I should call mine too.”
“Yea of course, and hey, listen. I know it’s not easy. But you can do your things there, you know. And I will make a lot more money so you don’t need to feel any pressure to provide. Yea, Hi mom! Great news…”