Recipes for Dirty Laundry

Rosa knows Teresa is the pretty one: she has more problems. Today it’s the bath. Water running, Rosa knows Teresa will be pouring in some of the red bubble bath that smells like raspberries her sister always finds enough money for when it’s on sale. Sometimes Rosa uses it too, waiting patiently until all the bubbles disappear before calling for someone to take her out. Then, after Mamma or Teresa help her into a nightdress, she keeps the towel beside her, inhaling the faint scent of the berries on the cloth. Rosa only bathes on Sundays, but Teresa bathes whenever she wants.

Today the bath is a problem, Rosa can tell. Her bedroom is beside the bathroom so it’s easier for her to go in the middle of the night. She can hold on to the walls until she reaches the Virgin Mary in a light blue and white frock, eyes and hands pointing to the heavens in prayer. It is a good picture, and Rosa, in the dark of the night, always knows which door is the right one.

Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 2. Purchase the book to read the full piece.