"Cracks appearing in my plans", she said. She had a few plans which one, oh which one? She didn’t upset the neighbours but a kitchen extension is a must. Really it must! It must be done. Kitchens didn’t upset her mother’s generation but then they didn’t have mother friends to impress. It had to be ecologically sound; the plans for the new kitchen. The guilt free solar panels here and there! But what she really wanted was space and marble tiles and the light streaming through the French windows and the roof. After all she had earned it. All those years working in the city and saving her hard earned cash. She shopped at charity shops for her weekend attire and shopped in budget supermarkets for her food. She served sparkly wine at the parties she threw for her clients. Yet none of them minded. Not really. Some didn’t even notice the difference between real champaign and the brut; much to her amusement. She saved the deposit for her large semi in a semi affluent suburbia. Then her kids came along. She resigned from her job and was raising her children happily. With that came to the responsibility to impress the other house wives some of whom had resigned from their high powered jobs.
She had plans; plans for the kitchen extensions, plans to get her children into a respectable secondary school. She drove her children from one instrument class to the other. She had spin classes to attend on Fridays and mum dancing classes on Tuesdays. She went out with her mother friends for coffee and discussed secondary schools and then kitchen extensions. Why would her story have an edge? After all of her friends’ stories had an edge too. They were all going through the change. The change had enslaved their bodies. They all wished the science would bring what the previous generation called “the lunar curse” back. Why was it called a curse at all? It was brief and back in their youth it even brought enormous relief to them. Relief as it may have slipped their minds to take the contraception pill. Now they all had the flashes and the bravado that they were all doing ok; coping well with the changes. All of their stories had an edge. Some even had affairs. She didn’t. Emily was too sensible for that. She loved her husband. Why would she jepordise her marriage for a fling? So far so ordinary and her life was really cliché ridden.
Except it wasn’t. There was nothing ordinary about Emily’s story. Her plans had cracks. Not metaphorical but actual, bona fide cracks. She could see them with a naked eye. Some were gathering must and some were grey and zig-zagged appearing like a zip. She reached to them in the dark and tried to unzip them in order to get to the core of the cracks. The source of the stream ; the confluence. The flood. The muddy shores and the fish that swam in the nooks and the crannies. The amphibians.
Some were like the cracks in a desert. Partched and desolate. Why was she unable to water them? She only had to fetch water from the tap for heaven’s sake. Then they would be whole. No more cracks in her plans. Some were hard and stained her picture. She sprayed vinegar and salt on them as it was the best remedy to remove such stains the housekeeping magazines adviced her. They didn't vanish. They were permanant. Permanantly etched on her plans; mapped on silky paper she had gathered in vaious fashionable stores around the world.
She travelled wide and fast both back in her youth and now with the kids and her husband. They climbed tall mountains in various countinents and beached combed on the Carribians. They hit the shopping malls in Asia and Europe and Americas and Egypt whereby the mother collected silky paper and sometimes papyrus for her her plans. Or maple leaves. She set out her plans on maple leaves with permanant marker. And on papyrus she used a delicate liqued pen to draw out her plans. Plans to buy her first flat when she was nineteen was on papyrus and now cracked beyond recognisation. Plans to launch a career in music was on a silky mauve paper she picked up in India back in her youth. This plan too was cracked appearing before her eyes like a stained sanitery towel; dark brown and clotted.
"Cracks appearing in my plans!" She exclaimed to her husband sitting by as she applied ointment on her her cracked heels. Her heels were so smooth back in her youth that much she was certain of. When did she even started giving a thought to her heels? It was absurd. It was absurd that she spent so much time thinking about her cracked heels and fat elbows.
"What plans?" Her husband murmured. "The plans. My plans. The ones in the draw. The ones in my head!" She cried. She was applying the anointment on her heels furiously now.