Maybe it’s because it’s where we’re potty trained or where we perform the most self care, but the bathroom had, over time, become Amanda’s safest spot in her life. Granted, it wasn’t because she was taking care of herself in there, she’d be lucky if she managed to wash her hair more than once or twice a week, and it certainly wasn’t an upset stomach keeping her in there either. No. It just was the place she felt the safest. When she was at work, Amanda would pull a book and her lunch out and head into the bathroom to sit and read and eat.
Sometimes, late at night after a bad dream, she’d wake up, covered in sweat and terrified, and head for the bathroom, locking herself in and cowering in the tub like she’d done so many times before as a little girl. She could swear she could still hear her parents fighting outside the door, or the sounds of her mother berating her weight, but no, it was always just in her imagination. Those days were well and gone, even if the trauma wasn’t. But now it was where she went whenever she felt threatened or upset or that she wasn’t in control. When she felt hopeless or lost, the bathroom was her guiding light.
Sometimes she’d cry, sitting on the edge of the tub, still brought down by all the negative things her mother had said to her growing up about her weight, or about her looks, or how she ‘wasn’t keeping up with the other girls, appearance wise’ and that the boys would notice. She didn’t care about the boys noticing. She only wished her own mother wouldn’t be so harsh about it. At least the boys ignored her, while her own mother expended the energy to be critical towards her. Sometimes she’d cry, sitting on the toilet with the seat down, while thinking about her parents fighting right there in the kitchen. They either didn’t realize she was in the bathroom and could hear their every word, or, and much more likely, they just didn’t give a shit that she could hear their every word. Amanda locks the bathroom everytime she goes in now, even if just to brush her teeth. Anyone else coming in while she’s occupying the space would be a serious invasion of privacy.
Everytime Amanda had looked to live somewhere new, it always boiled down to the bathroom. What was the lighting in it like, was the aesthetic pleasing, was the color palate enjoyable? Where was it located in relation to the other rooms was a big one. If the bathroom was right off the bedroom, or better yet, attached to the bedroom, then boy howdy she had a winner there, because the bedroom was the second safest place she’d ever had.
But what was it that made the bathroom the absolute best place? Sure, all those things were good starts, but in the end, it’d probably have to be the fact that when she came home from school one day, her mother, who’d terrorized her her entire life and made her question everything about herself, had slipped on a bathroom mat and hit her head against the sink, dying instantly.
When Amanda found her, she’d only been dead for about an hour or so, and nobody else was home yet, but for the first time in her life, Amanda felt protected…and free. So Amanda did what she did everyday. She took a bag of chips and a few books, sat on the toilet with the lid down and her mother cold and lifeless on the floor, and enjoyed the only place that ever made her feel safe.
I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, the satirical online newspaper of “Nowhere, US”, my podcast “Coping With Tonal Shifts In Reality” or my writing over at Medium. You can also donate to my PayPal or support my work at Patreon, where you’ll get access to patron only content and new content early, all for as cheap as a buck a month! Thanks for reading!