Chapter One: Laura
Laura was already used to spending all her nights alone, so this one shouldn’t be any different, if it weren’t for her birthday. She had just gotten home from a stressful day at work, where no one knows about this important date, because Laura never told them. And she had a very good reason to hide it from them.
It was on her fifth birthday that Laura’s father abruptly left the country and abandoned his family. At first, they reported him as missing, but they soon had found evidence that proved his true intentions: he had stolen all their money from their family accounts and left them with a huge debt. Apparently, he had been piling it for years, without their knowledge, due to a gambling addiction that they didn’t even know he had.
A few years later, someone recognized Laura’s dad on social media. He was living in an exotic country, with another wife and kids. They reported the case to the police, seeking justice, but, until this day, her father has never been found. Because of such circumstances, Laura’s mother, Linda, had to work three jobs simultaneously to pay the huge debt.
Since Linda was constantly working day and night, Laura was left with her grandmother most of the time. Therefore, all her birthday memories were with her. Laura’s grandmother would make her a small birthday cake and, only after her mother arrived from work, would they all sing her a happy birthday. Unfortunately, her grandmother passed away two years ago, turning those moments into bittersweet memories.
Laura threw her keys on top of the entryway table and undressed her coat, hanging it on the wall. It was chilly outside and since she does not own a car or even have a driver’s license, Laura has to take the bus and the subway home, every day. Quickly, she took off her extremely uncomfortable shoes and gently massaged her feet, allowing them to move. Her feet were hurting like hell today.
She headed upstairs and immediately went into the bathroom. She took off her clothes and began filling the bathtub with warm water. Laura was desperately craving for a long bath at the moment. She was feeling the need to silence the thoughts that always haunt her on this day, February 13th. However, she knew that her relaxation moment would eventually get ruined in the next few hours. Even if all she wanted to do was lay inside that hot bathtub, Laura was aware that her mother always pays her a visit on her birthday.
It was a tradition that they both had, and probably the only one. Usually, Linda cooks them dinner and then spends the entire evening with Laura until she must go home. Sometimes, they barely even talk, but at least they are together. Laura knows that Linda’s absence is solely her father’s fault, but she can’t help but feel disconnected from her mother. The two will still speak regularly, but not with the intimacy that Laura would like.
Laura doesn’t have any friends, not even at work. She talks to some people occasionally, but that’s it. She doesn’t even remember the last time she spent a night out with someone other than her mother. And yes, she knows that some of that is her own fault for not making more of an effort to connect to people, but she also blames the absence of her parents for that.
Without her dad present, and with her mother absent day and night, Laura quickly got used to being alone. Back in school, she wouldn’t even get along with the other kids. In fact, she hated them, because they all had happy families back home and she didn’t.
The mirror in the bathroom begun to get foggy and turned the clear image of Laura’s body into a simple woman’s silhouette. Maybe her body wasn’t that different from the average women’s body after all. With the shape of her body slowly disappearing from the bathroom mirror, Laura pictured what her ideal figure would look like. What began looking like a better version of herself on that foggy mirror, quickly turned into a hot man’s body.
Laura looked away from the mirror, feeling the urge to masturbate right away.
“Why am I so lonely?”, she though.
The fact that she never even had lost her virginity and that she was already turning thirty-two, was starting to weigh on her. Finally, she got into the bathtub and turned off the running water. The water was a bit too warm, but she didn’t care. She just wanted a few minutes of relaxation before her mother arrived. She threw a bath bomb into the bathtub, which immediately turned the water into a colorful and nice-smelling ocean.
With the vague silhouette of the hot man’s body still on her mind, Laura made her hand slide through her neck, her breasts, and her belly, until her fingertips touched her labia. Suddenly, the doorbell ranged, stopping her.
“Not now!”, she moaned softly.
Linda had the keys to her place, so Laura thought she could stay put and enjoy her nice bath while her mother got in. However, she was wrong. Her phone started ringing and Laura picked it up. Luckily, it was waterproof, so she could just make the call inside the bathtub with her wet fingers. On the smartphone’s screen, the word “MOM” was written in all caps. She answered the call with a very upset tone:
“What?”, she asked.
“Where are you?”, Linda asked Laura. “You’re not home.”, she said.
“Yes, I am.”, Laura replied. “I’m just taking a bath.”.
“Sorry! But I forgot my keys.”, Linda announced softly.
Laura rolled her eyes and hanged up the phone without saying another word. The fact that she now had to get out of the shower and go open the door, was not pleasing her at all. With way too much effort, Laura finally got out of the warm bathtub and stepped out into the cold bathroom floor. She put on her slippers and grabbed a towel, wrapping it around her wet body.
She could feel her legs shivering from the cold, so she went downstairs fast. Her house was small but just cozy enough for just her. On the lowest floor, the front door leads into a small entryway. On the left, it’s the kitchen, and, on the right, there’s the stairway that leads upstairs. Forward, it’s the living room, a small and yet comfortable place to be. Right next to the living room, there is a bathroom and, upstairs, there are two bedrooms and one more bathroom.