On top of her house speaking to Barbara for the first time, there was a deep sense of dread washing over her. She placed her ear against the kitchen drain. She couldn’t bring herself to look into the dark pipe, where she thought the house’s mouth might be, instead watching her distorted reflection in the steel faucet.
“Talking hurts you?” She began, mulling over her words as they left her mouth.
“Of course,” it gurgled back. “But I was so upset about your parents passing away that I couldn’t help but sob, and then you heard me. I knew that I should stop flooding the kitchen with my tears, but they just wouldn’t stop!”
Barbara was too busy preparing what she was about to say to feel any remorse or solidarity in her grief. “If you’re able to feel pain then what would, let’s just say, a visit from kitchen replacement specialists feel like? Hypothetically?”
The sink shuddered underneath her. She had to step back, almost slipping on the wet ornamental tiles underneath her. “I would rather be abandoned!” It sobbed and she rushed over, gently tapping the kitchen cupboard as though she were patting it on the shoulder.
“Have you also been crying because you heard about the remodelling?” She said, connecting the puzzle pieces. “Are you scared?”
The sink shook more, as though the house was breaking down further.
“I’ll cancel the kitchen renovations, but the leaking still needs to be fixed.”
“Don’t cancel the renovations completely,” it said, sobbing. “I could use a fresh coat of paint, and some redecoration would be lovely. Just no replacements, please?”
“And maybe find a good team for laundry renovations near Melbourne. That room gets so hot and uncomfortable, it makes it hard for me to think properly.”
Surprisingly, relief and a strange sense of comfort washed over her. It had been so long since she had spoken to someone. Ever since her parents had passed, she had refused to think about anything except her daily routine. It was nice to know that she wasn’t alone anymore.