The clock in the hallway chimes out the hour.

At the kitchen sink, she turns on the faucet and watches the warm water flow over her hands and down the drain. Soap, a fragrant lavender blend from her favorite bath store, foams up as she squishes it through her fingers.

The scent catches her attention only for a moment, then she’s back to her task.

Twisting and turning her hands around each other, squeezing the fragrant soap between them, she feels the grime of the day leave her body through her hands. Such a dirty day, and it feels so good to wash it all away.

One thousand one, one thousand two…..

The warm water makes her think about the twins, who love to play in the bathtub even though they’re in kindergarten now.

She’ll need to go pick them up soon.

She soaps up again, not quite finished yet. The water feels a bit too hot now, so she turns it down ever so slightly. Smelling the soap again, she hopes it’s working.

One thousand one, one thousand two….

The clock chimes out the half hour.

She turns off the water. The towel is just out of reach by the stove and she stretches to grab it without leaving her spot in front of the sink.

Patting her hands so gently with the towel, she glances at the clock. The twins will be out of school in 15 minutes, she has just enough time.

She turns on the faucet and watches the warm water flow over her hands. She reaches for the lavender soap and squirts some into her palm, breathing in the aroma.

She hopes it works better this time.

One thousand one, one thousand two….

This post is for the Red Dress Club’s weekly writing club, Red Writing Hood. This week’s prompt: Water gives life, water takes life away.

This post is fictional, but for a woman like this who suffers from OCD that compels her to wash her hands over and over again, water is indeed taking her life away.