I was going through a box of old notebooks filled with stories and poetry from middle school, high school, and college. I have been going on a joyride down memory lane. The following story was written my senior year of high school. I got a scholarship to St. Andrews University with this story.
The shower was hot and steam filled the room. The water beat down on her back, and she felt the heat all around her. The steam seemed to surround her and smother her like a soft white pillow. She put her small delicate hands against the wall and watched the drops of water fall down the wall.
The steam seemed to be smothering her from within now, as though it had filled up her lungs. She pressed the front of her body against the wall and tried to breathe in the fresh air that was seeping in through the crack between the curtain and the wall.
Although the water was hot and she found it a little hard to breathe, she didn’t want to leave. She wanted to let the pain and the hatred of the world wash away the sorrow of past lovers out of her hair. The world had become the steam in her shower, surrounding her and smothering her from within.
The water slowly slipped from hot to cold, forcing her to turn off the water. Little drops of water rolled down her body and onto the floor. The steam was escaping through the crack between the curtain and the wall.
A blast of cold fresh air seemed to attack her naked body the moment she pulled the curtain aside. She picked up a towel and wiped off all of the small drops of water she could reach.
She often wondered about those small drops of water that she never wiped away. Did they end up pressed against her clothes leaving a mark or did they slide away never to be seen again. Small things seemed to fascinate her. A small drop of water or a speck on the wall. She was seeing the world’s smallest details that no one stopped to see.
Her clothes were on the floor in a pile. She picked them up and began to put them on. She began to wonder about those small drops of water again.
She looked around her familiar bathroom. Everything seemed to be in the same place. In the shower, she felt as though she had stepped into a different world, but she had never left her own small bathroom.
The mirror had fogged over from the steam and she could no longer see herself. Once was a reflection of a young woman who had dreams and hopes for the world, but now nothing seemed clear. She wiped away the fog and saw her reflection again. But was this really her? The hopes and dreams had seemed to melt away with the steam. Who was she now that reality’s cold hand had smacked her in the face? Was she the same girl she was before?
Her childhood was now a distant memory, and she wondered where it had gone. She used to be able to pretend and be whatever she wanted to be. She used to dream and soar above the clouds with her imagination. She used to be told that she could do anything, but as soon as she got older she realized how she was always lied to.
She looked around the room and saw everything in its usual place. The handle to the door was fogged over. She used to see her distorted reflection when she left, but now that was all gone too. She reached for the door handle, wiping away the fog, and opened the door. After leaving the bathroom, she stood outside the door and watched the steam escape. Walking away from her bathroom, she knew that she would visit that world again tomorrow. And once again think about those missing drops of water. But for now, she had the world to face with a clean body and a head full of questions.