• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 05


She didn’t think that it would be possible to be so repulsed by someone so rapidly. It was like having dinner with a walrus, his whiskers and complete absence of a jawline only exacerbating her struggle to maintain composure. She tried to blame her giggles – a schoolgirl again, simpering and batting clumpy eyelashes – on the wine, but then he was at it again, rubbing his hands together, and suddenly it was the slap slap slapping of walrus fins, the force rippling through his blubbery body and fuelling her poorly suppressed sniggers.

Not so funny was the speed with which she fell out of love with him. Was it really just this evening, the irony of candlelight in highlighting her lover’s faults? Or was it a myriad of tiny things (not mentioning his penis) that built up to this, three years fracturing over a meal and a bottle of wine? Was it the way he left towels on the bathroom floor, didn’t call his mother, didn’t call her, didn’t clear up after the dog, didn’t clear up after himself? She knew that these were only minor incidents, that he didn’t impregnate another woman or smash a bottle of her head during those three years, but snowflakes lead to blizzards that shut down countries. His label as ‘man-child’ should have been the first warning. It was humorous when it first appeared on novelty mugs, but when it manifested itself in his inability to remember birthdays and clear dishwashers, something had to go.

Someone had to go.



It was all a matter of timing. She wanted to let him down gently, not ripping roots out with a wax strip. There was probably a semblance of feeling – not love – left. He was cuddly and affectionate and lovable, but if she wanted something that was cuddly and affectionate and lovable she would have bought a Labrador. Lower maintenance, and it would have been satisfied with humping the table leg instead of her.

She flicked her eyes upwards into his brown ones, trying to time her announcement with the muted restaurant music. He smiled back, its potency throwing her off-guard. And, like in so many other situations, he read her body language incorrectly. He dug out a toothpick, scratching in between his tusks, but she couldn’t keep her eyes off this little piece of wood trapped in his meaty fingers and then she let rip with a cacophony of laughter. So much for graceful goodbyes. Staggering her way towards the exit, she took one last look. He was still excavating, bewildered, only focused on the gristle in his teeth and other minuscule things, like why she left.