|Hair, sliced into smooth strands stuck to the back of her neck, stained taupe by the fall of water from above her. Ever since she grew out her hair, not a single haircut in years, the feeling of slipping her fingers across her nape had stuck itself into her etiquette. A lot had changed in the past few years, she and many of her peers had noticed, but she didn't feel any different. She still felt like a naive, chubby, fourteen year old loser that had sheared off her locks in an act of rebirth. It worked, she was practically a different person by now, but only really superficially.
Over the rush of the water dripping down to the drain, the usual music blasted from the speaker sat on a stationary table next to the device it was sourcing the tunes from. Her music taste hadn't budged in years. She had always worried that the steam may affect the longevity of the electronic but never bothered leaving it out of her washing routine, a shower without a symphony seemed bare. A cigarette, something she heavily relied on in order to douse her nerves with repellent, sat between a couple of her fingers, not carelessly though, thoughtfully away from the water so the simpering tip of it wasn't extinguished. She ashed it somewhere near the drain, the embers hissed at the action.
She liked to not think when she smoked, just sit with herself and the silence of her mind and take in the feelings, the sensations and the sounds around her. Most of the time, a numb sort of mood set in, apathy. A lot of the time, she silently cried. Not with actual tears, that hadn't happened in months, just a down feeling that would normally have someone host themselves a small sob session. But she just couldn't cry, the tears never came but the feeling was still there. She bathed in the in between, like the water that dripped down her thighs to her toes, legs bent towards the stream with her feet soaking in the puddle that sat at the bottom of the shower. Sitting in the shower had become a decision she made more often recently, it made the shower more like a relaxing ritual, an activity more akin to yoga than a chore.
It also somehow brought her back to her childhood, something that felt so far away even though she was still in her teens. She wanted to feel the hands of someone else massaging the shampoo into her scalp, someone aiding her in scrubbing the suds into her back as an adult would to a small child. She missed being taken care of in those simple ways and sitting in the shower caused the case of childhood creep back into the front of her mind. It was soothing, but also saddening. Life felt hard, harder than it did before. It wasn't fair but she was at least wise enough to know that she shouldn't expect it to be. These concepts brought some peace back to the challenge that she would continue to face, so she inhaled the last credible hit of the cigarette and dabbed it into the shining bubbles as the water began to turn lukewarm.