-Mom, what was that thing called? The thing we saw yesterday in the mall, the big thing?
-It was a chandelier, honey.
-A chan- … a what?
-Chandelier. Now go get your backpack, we’re running late for school.
Serene went upstairs, back to her room, and went to the garage hesitantly, where her mother Evelyn was growing impatient waiting for her. She had just started going to school a few weeks ago and she already felt as if it was a burden for her to bear, nothing exciting or enjoyable in there. Evelyn was thinking that Serene might turn out to be like her too; always curious about new things and never satisfied with anything constant, almost desultory, and even though she thought of it as something bad, she was somehow, somewhat pleased by it too.
The road that led to the school went through the forest, as their house was almost isolated from the city. Though they were running late, Evelyn was driving a bit slower than usual. She was thinking about how while everything was falling apart, albeit slowly, no one around her seemed to care about it. Within the last year alone, her marriage ended, her father died in a car crash, her mother has gotten severely injured in the same crash and now she has to live the rest of her life bound to a respirator. Also, all her father left her in inheritance was the house that they were now living in, which could not even cover the amount of debt she got into for her mother’s surgery. She was thinking of selling the house and working a second shift, but then, who would take care of Serene? Maybe she should have given the custody to Jacob, she thought. Even though she regretted even thinking about such a thing, she knew that was the more logical thing to do. This made her even more uneasy. Serene yelled:
-Look mom, there’s a fox on the side!
Evelyn looked at the fox Serene was showing her with her finger. The fox seemed like it wanted to cross the road, but it got scared when it saw their car. Evelyn stopped the car slowly and decided to wait there till the fox crossed the road. Serene got even more excited. She got off her seat and got as close to the windshield as she can. Evelyn looked at her. She didn’t feel much, and although she usually soothed herself by thinking that was because being a mother consumed almost all her energy, this time she knew she just didn’t feel much about anyone anymore, including her own daughter.
The fox took a slow step into the road, and after a few more steps it felt confident enough to cross it, so it did. Serene watched every little step with awe. When she sat down and looked at her mom, Evelyn faked a little smile and started the car again. It was only to be another void of a day for me, she said to herself, as she pushed the gas pedal.