Her heart is aching as she sets the phone down. The white laptop is humming importantly to itself and yellow legal-pad notes and piles of homework are spilling off the edges of the old, scarred oak table. Rain blows onto the window glass on gusts of wind and runs in rivulets down to pool on the sill, as she crumbles into her chair and the sobs roll over her.
“Mama, why are you crying?” a sweet little bangless face peers at her from through the teary tissue in her hands. Mascara and salty tears have turned the bright white tissue into a sodden grey mess that matches the sky.
Why? Because life is hard, and sometimes it just hurts too much to hold it all in anymore. Because school is hard and she shouldn’t have taken four classes this quarter. Because it hasn’t stopped raining in what feel like weeks and her heart needs needs needs something yellow and sunshiney and beautiful. Because hopes dashed hurt especially badly when you have so little. Because because because…
Because it just doesn’t matter. She wipes at her eyes, smiles at her daughter and pulls herself up. Homework is waiting, children are waiting, groceries, laundry, bills, writing, carpool, grad school applications and more homework… waiting. She takes her daughter’s hand and walks down the hall in her sock feet, thinking idly that by this time of May, her feet really should not be cold anymore. Sunshine… sunshine would be welcome. She sops the last tears and tosses the tissue away, and notices, through the gray roiling clouds and dots of rain peppering her window that there is a tiny patch of blue sky.
That’s all she needs.