An hour and 15 minutes

I sat with my aunt at the table, aware that her mouth was moving but oblivious of the sound that formed words. I could tell she was upset about something because her expression was one of irritation at something I had done that she must have found offensive. As always, she didn’t bother to hear my part of the story; whether or not I was guilty.

Between feeling sober, her yelling and a pounding headache, I realised I had drifted again. Zapping back into the present, I stared at my entangled fingers on the wooden table and back to her face, I didn’t like the sight of her face; it was sort of a combination of the character- Smeagol,” in Lord of the Rings and Ursula” from the little mermaid,. Maybe I overplayed her features but she wasn’t a sight for sore eyes when she is angry. I wondered why I could hear the tick-tock of the clock and not hear her voice. So, I focused my attention on her, hoping this time I would at least be able to make sense of what she said. Her mouth moved in extreme slow motion and her features were alarming; the more she furrowed her brows, the scarier her features and the slower her lips moved. I had to shut my eyes and opened them at the bang of her hands on the table. I could hear her after that. Please can I get a glass of water?” I asked. What do you mean a glass of water, Kate. That is not the answer to the question I asked you.” I-” I started to say but she cut me off and started another round of word-scolding as she called it. My lips curled in a smile at the thought of not hearing the curse-infused words that erupted from her lips, she called it word-scolding”. Finally! She stopped talking. I saw her mouth the words, what can you say in your defence?”

There were a thousand things I would have said one of which included her having a little faith or trust in me. However, countering her would mean sleeping in the street. I weighed my options which weren’t much.

I stood up, looking sober of course and told her, I’m sorry. It will never happen again.” whatever it” meant.

She seemed gloriously satisfied at my pseudo apology. I realised I had been seated with her for about an hour and 15 minutes of word-scolding I didn’t even hear.

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