The silence in her house echoed through her mind. The only noise was the tick-tocking of the clock. Sunlight lit the room, illuminating the pale white sofa Mrs. Duvall sat on. It was a late Thursday afternoon and she sat idly skimming through her housekeeping magazine. She’d already read it twice this week but that didn’t stop her. She didn’t have any other source of entertainment. A smartphone or any new piece of technology was too complicated for her to use without the guidance of her only child, who has now away at college and, her husband had no time.
“It’s just 3 pm?” she sighed, reminiscing the days when she would get up at 6am, clean up, cook food and take care of Shreya and her father. Now, Shreya was gone and her father didn’t need much care. For seventeen years of her life, Mrs. Duvall had lived in that cycle of care for her family but now there was hardly anyone left to care for. Her weekly escape from the world had now become stale and read twice already. Tapping her foot against the hardwood of the sofa, her brows furrowed as she aimlessly stared at the grandfather clock.
Later that evening at her monthly kitty party, Mrs. Duvall shared her story with her dearest friends. Without acknowledging Mrs. Duvall’s conflict, they all agreed on the fact that according to the passage of time, Shreya should be married when she returns 4 years later. Two hours of small talk later they left. Frustrated, Mrs. Duvall picked up her housekeeping magazine to blankly stare at for what was now the fourth time this week. As she read, an ad caught her eye.
“A part time job in a bakery. Oh, any woman would be lucky to work there” she murmured to herself. Having grown up in a family of doting mothers and grandmothers who loved to cook, Mrs. Duvall had grown into the love of baking. Alas, her dreams of pursuing it professionally were broken when she was married away at the tender age of nineteen. Her love for baking was only manifested through the little teacakes she would bake for Shreya.
After reading the ad, she went back into her new routine of wallowing and whining to herself. Suddenly, it struck her – she could apply for the job. Various thoughts rushed through her mind. Oh,but no, what would Shreya’s father say? He would say yes but. Who will take care of the household? We have a maid but…
A few hundred minutes of deliberation later, Mrs. Duvall came to the conclusion that she would apply for the job. Now, all she had to do was convince Shreya’s father.