SOME THOUGHTS • by Erin Lawless

I want to tell you something. Please don’t write me off, not yet. Let me tell you what I think.

I think about a lot of things. I think about the night we first met. I remember the weather, the clothes we were wearing and the way your wife made cow eyes at you across the room. I remember the first kiss, in the garden, all fingers and tongues.

I think about the hotels, the stolen weekends, the money I spent. Lazy Saturdays spent learning the contours of your body, travelling the length of it in languid strides, sandwiched by weeks where I would forget it all again. The flowers and the jewellery that were there whenever you couldn’t be. Love notes collected into a shoebox.

You only ever saw me at my best, primped and waxed and willing. We ate in restaurants and ordered champagne on room service. Our world was so small.

I think about the day you turned up at my flat with a suitcase in each hand and a promise on your lips: everything is going to be different from now on. I had champagne in the fridge and we popped it in celebration. It was only a supermarket brand; it tasted bitter and cheap.

Now I know your body better than I know my own. We sit side by side in a companionable silence in front of the television. Stop it, you say, when I reach for you in the night. Stop it.

I sometimes think that the fact she asked you to leave means I am a back-up, the consolation prize. But I only think things like that occasionally.

I think that it is strange that kisses that used to taste like smiles and love now taste of nothing at all.

I’m seven months gone now and my attention is divided between you and my burgeoning flesh. The due date grows ever closer but I am not ready yet. I want him to stay inside me forever, just me and him, and him just a warmth in my core. He kicks to let me know he loves me, and I run my hand over the globe of my stomach.

It is just me and him a lot, lately. I have a lot of time to think.

Erin Lawless is a graduate of the University of London, where she read for a BA in English and Classical Studies and a Masters in Shakespeare. She now works in a job which entails lesser members of the British nobility screaming abuse at her on a day-to-day basis, and survives this by writing short stories and flash fiction at her desk.

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