New Flash Fiction

Food

 

But the yearning never goes away. It lives bright and brittle in the dark places of your heart and the pulsating places between your legs. The breathing next to you is shallow and desperate. You turn and look at the head that you want to touch. But an invisible wall has been put there to stop this kind of touching. You snake a hand out and stop, looking at your fingers and your wrist and the arm you can hardly hold straight. Your fatness is the barrier, your shame the key. Maybe he’s right, something is wrong with your longing, something is wrong with your being, this is the best way to live, no, no one has a right to it, they have to earn it, it’s ok, things will get better tomorrow and you feel your power, ever so slowly, drip into the empty space of his words. Something is wrong with you. You don’t deserve to come or be touched or held or loved. You havn’t earnt it.

“We can only do it if I’m happy”.

“Ok”.

Years spent on working at this, with a clean house, with jokes and favourite dinners and nods of agreement at everything and silent listening.

“I wish that I could carry you around, I want to lift you up, I want us to do it against a wall”.

But he’s smaller than you and all you can really hear is what you’re not.

“We can only do it if I know that the kids are gonna be alright, you know, I need to know this, that they’ll be ok, that everything will alright for them”.

“Oh, ok”.

Could you be a better mother, for him? Could you guarantee their future, for him? But the things that are out of your control seem to mock you.

But you remember him in your mouth, you remember with shame the taste and smell of urine, the stray hairs and fluff. You eat anyway. Who knows when you’ll be doing this again?

“Haven’t you had enough?”

The questions about your plate makes you wince and you use your tooth brush to help you throw up. You stop eating in front of him and stop eating in public and stop eating when anyone is looking. You hide biscuits and chocolate in your knicker draw, next to the tiny pink vibrator. Sometimes you throw them away and then buy them back again. He doesn’t hear the wrappers at night. Sometimes you pretend you need something and you go upstairs into your room and you have a piece of chocolate, too quickly, almost choking in case he should come in. Then you go to the bathroom and rinse out your mouth. Like when you used to smoke.

He complains he can’t see your narni when you walk around because your belly hangs over it, the way he averts his eyes and looks a little like he’s going to be sick when you came out of the shower and when you’re touching and kissing and then the sudden stop, because he just can’t, it really is all your problem.  You have to always approach him, you cajole, joke, tease, talk him into, beg him into bed. You finally give up, after years and sink into the routine of not and wait for him to want you. But it never happened and he seems happier now that you’re not asking. Happier, more focused, works hard, laughes more, took his life into his own hands and left you holding what was left of yours and your dry vagina.

 

Your hand grows heavy, the wall too thick to penetrate and you slowly take your hand back. You decide to get and

go and get something else to eat.