Furious Fiction - March 2019

On the first Friday of every month, the AWC hosts Furious Fiction. Participants are given a set of criteria to follow with a strict word limit of 500 words or less. Below is my entry for March.

Rusted velvet just like my grandmother’s house in that lounge-room just as you walked through the front door but you could only look – never touch – and if your grandfather asked you to bring him his bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee and his crystal scotch glass, you best bet you didn’t touch anything else other than those two things. It’s making me feel like they’re watching me from up there, wondering how I ended up in this mess and trying to give me a sign to just back away.

“Curiosity killed the cat, Stella” they used to say and I always took it as a guide.

But there comes a point in one’s life where the lessons learnt as a child are no longer applicable, and sometimes those rules that you repeated to yourself over and over again on the Sunday afternoon before the first day back at school weren’t necessarily the best lessons to be taught.

Sure, my grandparents taught me to love hard and be kind, but why didn’t they teach me how to support my starving five-year-old child? Why didn’t they teach me how to break free from Tommy? I shiver as I think of his name, almost as if I can feel his fingers digging into my neck, the smell of Corona oozing from his sweat glands.

I don’t exactly know what my plan is – this was a rash decision – but I had this urgency in me to see what she had that I was lacking. What was he attracted to exactly? Was it those blue jeans I watched spin round and round in the tumble dryer that tug around her bum that caught his eyes? Was it the black lace bra that he probably ripped off her twenty-four hours prior?

I watch her sip on her latte from across the road as she waits for her laundry to finish, thinking she has no other worries in the world other than when her next manicure will be and how long it will take for her extensions to grow out. I laugh at the way she swallows too hard and coughs up the froth, discreetly spitting it out into the napkin in front of her thinking no one can see.

But she’s wrong.

I see you.

I know who you’re texting each time you look down at your phone and bite your lower lip.

I know you’re texting the man who impregnated me and dumped me to live in his shed with our child.

I know you’re texting the man I mistakenly fell in love with.

What you don’t know is that each time you’re too tired for sex, each time he catches you talking to another man, each time you play hard to get when he’s desperate and each time you don’t answer his calls, he comes home and he lashes out on me – secretly hoping it’s you that feels the pain.

But it’s not.

It’s not you, is it?