Intense emotions and struggles in Geisha School Part II
The afternoon sun sank quietly toward the rippling water as Katy sat with Okasan on the edge of the bridge. It was an unusually warm winter’s day as they gazed out quietly contemplating the dancing tree branches and the rippling waves murmuring like flapping bird feathers.
“I read your story child,” Okasan begins, eliciting a rosy red blush that Okasan would bother reading Katy’s sad scribblings, “it is unfinished.”
Nodding embarrassed, blushing badly, Katy tries to speak but words do not come. “It’s ok child, go on, you have chores to do, you can finish it later.” Bringing her hands together before her lips, and giving an awkward little bow so deep she almost tips over, Katy just barely catches her fall. “Yes Okasan, the primroses bloom with such fierce intensity this evening…” as she collects herself quickly and hurries back into the castle, carrying the sacks of flour and sugar she had acquired using the ration cards, back from town.
Walking up the long stone path, she exchanges a jape with her sis Ally busy in the garden. As Ally turns back to the trellises, Katy makes sure no one else is around and sticks her tongue out at her sister, glad she gets to be indoors, away from the icky dirt and the mud. Though she composes herself quickly, feeling the omnipresent gaze of Okasan on the back of her neck.
As Katy finally arrives into the warm embrace of the kitchen, breathlessly carrying the heavy bags, she finds that Meadow had already begun preparing the ovens and was busy slicing and sugaring the apples and berries. Katy’s pale skin glistens from the exertions and the heat of the hearth. She quickly busies herself kneading the dough, the repetitive motions lulling her into a hypnotic daze, as her mind roams and daydreams, wandering into her childhood.
She thinks about how much things have changed from her years as a gamine embassy brat, stealing into the kitchen to sneak fresh baked eclairs, or listening to saucy stories from the embassy scullery maids. Although the kitchen work is a departure from her childhood of mischief and leisure, she finds comfort in the honesty and simplicity of her labours. Her thoughts wander some more but as has happened all too often all too easily, her daydreams are drawn into darker climes, from rosy childhood days into bleak prison camp nights: preparing schnitzel for officer soirees, receiving beatings for imagined slights, and then afterwards, always afterwards, summoned for … entertainment…
The tears that dripped down her face splashing onto the floured wooden table top awaken Katy from her reverie. Meadow looks over with concern, as she finishes the last of the 43 round little loaves of dough for the oven. Meadow moves to console her, but before she can be touched, Katy runs quickly from the warm kitchen, almost knocking over a stack of dirty bowls. Running to the coldest darkest corner of the castle, dropping to the floor, curling up into a tight little ball, she soon finds herself rocking, quietly, rocking back and forth. Reminding herself to write all this down later for Madame and Okasan, but for now Katy merely sobs… weeping and remembering as she cries.