Esther Newton’s Monday motivation prompt is
It was just a party, a few friends. ‘Come,’ they said. It’ll get you out.’
I refused. Twice but then, well, I had to some time, didn’t I?
People are kind. No comfortable it’s true, not sure what to say. Looking for me to lead them but we left the elephant in the hall and talked about everything that was really important – love, politics, health, wealth – and none of it mattered.
Then someone gave me a drink. Water. Sparkling. Just water but with a slice of lime. Not lemon, lime. I don’t remember who was speaking but I heard ‘frozen’, like it was on repeat. At the exact moment I took the glass, I heard ‘frozen’.
Lips moved, like so many mannequins in a horror film. Time slows, doesn’t it? When shock hits. Overlaying that moment, drowning those words spilling out in irrelevant torrents were John’s words. John’s last words. His hand on my stomach like he could already feel it. Him. It would have been a him. ‘12 weeks. It’s the size of a lime now.’
Where’d he get that? The net, I suppose. Wiki. Some sick fuck calling a foetus a piece of fucking fruit. Yeah, right. Until it dropped broke everything.
Back in the moment, it was the weather that filled my head. That’s where we’d got to, in filling the time until we could leave. The weather. One minute John’s touching my still flat stomach, his hand warm, unlike the last time I held it, just like he was next to me in that trite, shambolic circle, each of us propping elbows with our unglassed hands. Next, he’s the elephant waiting for me in the hall. My past and my future and, in that slice of citrus, the briefest, cruellest present.