- Vol. 07
- Chapter 05
I don’t know what I am doing here. Bumped into him at the pool, he invited me over, me being me, couldn’t say no.
Brought him a pot of peace lilies, don’t think his wife likes it much. Yes, the gym instructor, the one he left me for. Nope, I don’t know what I am doing in their house.
Yoga Pants walks like a goddess. I try to look symmetrical.
“Tattoo?” she points to my clavicle. “Looks like a bird to me.”
“Duck,” says her man before he can stop himself.
Chuck-plucks-ducks-from-the-muck-for-a-buck. I try to remember how to smile.
Bach is in the air. The cake is berries. The wine is finding memories.
Dinner is stuffed peppers and quinoa. Mr Stroganoff is vegan now.
“Not even eggs?”
“Not even eggs.”
Thanks for being here, I am told. “Means a lot to both of us.”
From where I am sitting, I can’t see it properly. The bill, sometimes, and the head, but that’s about it. A spot of mauve tucked under his sleeve.
The doctor had called it an hemangioma, Google had called it something else. It was the tattooist who had made it un-ordinary. “Mandarin duck!” she had swooned. “You must get one too!”
Symbol of love. Complete the pair. Matching tattoo.
Will it hurt? I had asked. Don’t worry, she had said. Together till death do you part.
“No, really, I must.”
The goodnight is a handshake-hug. “Take care,” he whispers in my ear. I rest my hand on his birthmark and wish it a happy birthday.