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“Open up your heart to the sun.” The yoga teacher chants, her voice like balm on my forehead. I arch my back and hold my palms together high above my head. I close my eyes and see colors. Oranges and yellows and reds. My limbs are all longer than thirty minutes ago, my neck like a swan’s, my spine like a stretching panther’s.

This is where I hear my thoughts. My breath. The sounds of this morning in my kitchen seem far away. His loud voice, his shaking jowls, his belly tumbling out of his too-tight T-shirt and low hanging pajamas. “The coffee is bitter. Johnny can’t find his soccer shoes. Can’t you get anything right?” His left toenail is deep blue. From when he tried to kick me but stubbed his toe on the bed leg instead. Ha. How I laughed inside.

I touch my nose to my knees. I fold, like a paper doll. I graze my lips to my knees and kiss them thank-you. For carrying me through every day. Soon it is time to end. I sigh into child’s pose. If only I could stay like this for longer. We all bow deeply, saluting each other’s souls with Namaste.

In the parking lot, I see I’m late. I have to pick up my son from his game. I imagine his forlorn face as every parent comes and he is left standing. I pull out of the far-too-narrow space I had pulled into, looking over my right shoulder. Then I hear it. The screech of metal digging into metal, metal scraping off metal, metal gashing metal. My car has grown a claw. I keep pulling out, taking the scar to its end.

I look in my handbag for a notepad, a pen to leave my contact information. Can’t find one. I look on the dashboard. None. I look around the parking lot expecting everyone to be looking at me. The owner racing towards me. The parking attendant. I see no one.

I push the gear into drive and race out the exit.

Flash Fiction by Mohini Malhotra

Published in Spring 2017

One Comment

  1. Such a study in contrasts. I find myself alternately relaxing and tensing as I read. This piece travels so far in such a short space. Like our thoughts, I suppose.

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