Chapter One: Casting Shadows continued
Viola flung the rest of her stale drink into the garden and carelessly dropped her glass on the day table. She turned and watched the remaining yoke of the sun slide away and as quickly, the darkness enveloped her. The evening breeze caressed her, nudging her silk cream blouse under her full breasts. Her navy linen pants hung loosely about her short fat legs. It felt weird but nice. No-one has touched her for so long. She made no attempt to rejoin her guests inside. The time had crawled to 6:30pm, when the automated sprinklers were due to start spitting. She paced the verandah to check if the entire irrigation system had come on to water her beloved garden. Her mind went back to events earlier.
Nora had asked her if she was all right – the stupid girl. Viola felt anger rising in her like bile, but swallowed it, only responding with “good”. For years, she had been telling her friend about how ‘he’ had treated her. Nora knew. Just like she had, Viola gritted her teeth and told Nora everything was good.
To Viola, “good” was a great word. When people ask how she was, she would reply on a reflex, “good”. According to Viola, the word good was so vague and final that anyone who asked could not ask any other questions. They left her alone. The word ‘good’, Viola thought, had protected her all these years. Kept her safe from the pity and concern that exhausted her so. Viola hesitated, as she paused and put the lights back on. They instantly flooded the lush bushes enclosing two carports and her guests’ extra two cars parked next to her black BMW and his silver Nissan 280Z. He would catch the $150 cab ride home tonight. She felt glad, she was not picking him up from Brisbane airport.
Over the years, she had kept all her feelings deep inside her, in the smallest pocket of her heart, layered with obligations and responsibilities as the daughter, mother and wife. But tonight, she was going to tell him everything when he came home. She would tell him she has had enough. She began thinking of her plan. Letting the scenario play out, she strolled back to the front of the house. Viola noticed at the end of the verandah that the sprinkler at her rose garden, nearest to her neighbours was off. Without thinking, she stepped bare feet onto the dying lawn and walked straight across towards the dark shadows to turn the sprinkler on. The light switch was near the tennis courts.
To read part one, see my earlier post and for more – visit my Wattpad: