The Little Bath Tub Girl

Fingering the plastic packaging Sabine’s mum cried quietly to herself. “Little Pockets of Happiness. That’s right. A fix for the fucked.” Letting her head sink to her knees, her shoulders shook as she sobbed her sorrows into the floor. Sabine had watched through the crack of the open door. Walking to school the next day she watched children crossing the road whilst holding the safety of their mother’s hands. She saw girls with their beautifully washed and brushed hair, shining in the sunlight. The folds in their clothes where they had been ironed held a type of paternal love that Sabine had never felt the softness of against her skin.

Sitting down at a computer in the library Sabine remembered that one of her dad’s friends had once called her “a mule”. Opening up Google she typed the unsettling word into the search engine. As pictures of the four legged creature appeared on the screen, Sabine smiled and laughed a little. Closing down the browser she walked away. “A mule,” she thought, “what a funny thing to call me…”

Arriving home that evening Sabine could hear her dad shouting at her mum crying in the kitchen. Ascending the staircase she locked herself in the bathroom. It was safe in there. The tiles felt sturdy beneath her body as she slid to the floor with her back to the door. The hot taps were her sanctuary. Those waters could wash anything away. Burning sin back to innocence. She wasn’t in the bath right now though. The only thing bathing her was the cold light of the setting sun, slowly diminishing the hours until she had to ride her bike into town.

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