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March 2, 2022 12:42 am  #1


It's a rare day that Andrea doesn't cry at least once.

She's worked it into her schedule—she'll sit down and cry for a little while after work, and sometimes at night to help herself get to sleep. In the morning on her days off, before she gets up for the day.

It's stress relief. It helps her think.

Maybe that's why, after a week too busy and exhausting for her to set aside any time to cry, she wakes up on her first day off in a while and almost immediately dissolves into tears. She rolls onto her side, settling in to cry herself out. The tears soak into her pillow, trailing over the bridge of her nose and trickling into her mouth.

After a few minutes of aimless weeping, she realizes that she's not going to stop crying, at least not soon, and she has things to do today. She buries her face into the damp spot on her pillow and sobs for a few breaths, her chest heaving, then sits up and gathers herself. There's work to do.

Tears still rolling down her cheeks, Andrea gets up. She puts on a clean t-shirt, brushes her teeth, then washes her face. She stands for a few minutes with her face pressed into a towel, her tears soaking into it, then hangs it back up and goes out to the kitchen to do the dishes she'd been too tired to do the night before. She's still tired, but tired in the way that makes her cry, not in a way that keeps her from getting things done. The world doesn't stop moving because she's crying.

She cries doing the dishes, too. The tears drip off her cheeks and into the sink, joining the sudsy water as she scrubs. The collar of her t-shirt is soaked, from the tears that have run down her neck, sticking the fabric to her skin. She rinses her hands off and pulls the collar of the shirt up, wiping her face with it. Not that it helps—fresh tears come streaming down, dripping off her chin. Andrea sobs quietly, leaning over to let her tears drip into the sink, splashing onto the metal surface and mingling with the water to make little pools.

She starts the laundry next, and spends some time on the couch with a book, holding it an angle to avoid staining the pages with tears. The distraction makes the tears stop after a while, until the jarring noise of the alarm she set to remind her to check on the laundry makes her burst into tears again.

Laundry in the dryer, tears dripping onto the damp clothes. She sits on the floor of the laundry room for a while, letting the stress of the last week crash over her in waves, sobs making her shoulders shake, quiet at first, and then loud and heaving, tears spilling all the while down her cheeks, splashing onto her pajama bottoms and soaking into her t-shirt.

There's nothing to be crying about, not really. Except that she's tired and work is exhausting and she hasn't had time to feel anything or even think, much less cry. She still doesn't have time, she has things to do, but she's crying anyway.

Andrea hauls herself off the ground and heads back to the kitchen. Oatmeal for breakfast sounds appealing enough to commit to, even though she ends up crying between bites.

She feels better, after breakfast and a cup of coffee. Not better enough to stop crying, but enough that she can answer a few emails and texts, even as tears stream down her face, splashing onto the legs of her pajama pants. She's going to have to change her clothes, at this rate. Everything she's wearing is getting damp.

Setting her phone aside, Andrea pulls the hem of her shirt up to her face, pressing the fabric against her eyes to soak up the tears, sobbing quietly.

She could stop crying, if she really wanted to. She spent all of last week not crying, even when the tears pressed against the backs of her eyes and she thought she would choke on the lump in her throat. She might even be tempted to make herself stop, save the tears for when she gets in bed at the end of the day and cry herself out there, instead of trying to multitask, but it isn't like it matters. She doesn't live with anyone else. Crying doesn't hinder her much. Her clothes are getting soaked, but they'll dry.

Her mind made up, Andrea cries until her shirt is irretrievably soggy, then drinks a glass of water, changes into a hoodie, and goes to fold the laundry.

The dry clothes all end up speckled with tearstains, but the sleeves of her hoodie take the worst of it, soaking up the seemingly endless streams of tears.

She puts everything away once it's folded, except for one particularly soft hand-towel, which she keeps in her hand as she sits down on the bed, leaning up against the wall and looking in the mirror across the room. Her face is red, her eyes slightly swollen, and her whole face is wet with overlapping tear-tracks. She isn't crying at the moment, but her eyes are full of tears.

Taking a deep breath, Andrea wipes her eyes on the towel, drying off her face and her neck. It feels a little like she's preparing a canvas, the way she used to do when she still had time to paint, except it's for the tears brimming in her eyes.

She doesn't have time for hobbies anymore. Not painting, or anything else. Her only hobby is crying.

As if on cue, she watches the first tear spill from her flooded eyes, leaving a streak from the corner of her eye to her trembling lips, the taste of salt blooming in her mouth as more tears follow the same track. A tear falls from her other eye, tracing the curve of her cheek and dripping off her chin, onto her hands, still clutching the towel in her lap.

She blinks, and tears spill in fresh tracks from both eyes. Some drip off her cheeks or her chin and into her lap, some run down her neck. It's not long before her face is a complete mess, the tear-tracks running into each other, overlapping and then splitting off again. Her cheeks are soaked. Her mouth quivers as she sobs. Andrea lifts the towel to wipe futilely at her eyes, and the sudden reminder that the reflection is her own makes her cry harder, sobs wracking her body. 

She buries her face in the towel, crying harder than she has all day, harder than she has in weeks, until the towel is soaked and useless. Tossing it aside, Andrea gives in and sprawls out on her bed, burying her face in her pillow. At once, her shoulders relax, the hitching sobs easing out into shuddering breaths. She's still crying, the tears soaking an instant damp patch into her pillow—she'll probably cry herself into a much-needed nap.

Multitasking can wait.


March 2, 2022 2:22 am  #2

Re: Multitasking

Wow, I could picture her face, you are very good at showing details, its been a long while since last time I saw a face so wet that individual streaks are no longer visible. Keep it up, thanks for sharing.


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