As I plodded into the sunny kitchen, my bare legs prickling from the winter cold that had set in overnight, I waved shyly to my dad. With his back to the bay window, he simply bent down the corner of his newspaper to peek at me. A raise of his eyebrows was the best I got, and I was content. I didn't hear my mom come up behind me, simply felt her cold hand on my hip as she maneuvered me out of the way. She forced a smile, but couldn't hide her exhaustion as she slipped her earrings through the tiny holes in her lobes. And all I could think about was the Ripple Effect, the fact that I did this to her.
Life was like a giant ripple, or so I heard. One decision, one action, could affect everything that came after it. What I did today could affect my life twenty years from now. People referred to it as the Butterfly Effect. For me, it was about water. Even though I lived in the landlocked state of Illinois, my life was surrounded by this liquid substance. I dreamed about water. Feared it. I even built my life's philosophies around it. And I didn't know why.
I could see my so-called Ripple Effect in my dad’s gruff demeanor. I could live with it. But the heaviest of ripples were etched across my mom's face. Her nightly visits to my room have caused permanent bags to form under her eyes.