Charlie I'm Pregnant.

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Swelling like a balloon that’s about to pop, while people walk by and judge. 
Quitting’s getting harder, because they’re not just her lungs anymore, and it’s not just her liver. The days are long, the hours at work are long, and the sentence he got was even longer. She always went for the wrong kind of man. The old tattoo she got when she was 16, the butterfly with his initials. The scar above her shoulder from when she misunderstood him; if she could, she’d have neither, but there’s a bitter romance in it, so she’ll hold on to them both. She winces when she sees what she’s become, and wants to go home, but there’s just the flat, which still smells of stale cigarettes and cheap perfume. She hopes its not his, and a part of her knows it isn’t, but he wont find out - hispanic’s not so different from greek, and maybe he’ll be dead by the time it arrives. She holds her belly every night, and imagines the baby cuddling her back - it’ll be there for her when she needs it.

Five years on, and she’s divorced, living in a nicer part of the city, a loft where she can look down on the old estate. She started writing after it all happened; when he got out, and she misunderstood him again. But this time someone else payed the price. Sometimes she still cries herself to sleep, but her boyfriend is still there to hold her. She knows if it hadn’t happened, she’d still be in that flat, still be with him, making excuses. He’s back inside. She got the tattoo removed, but the scar’s still there. She smiles, but her boyfriend knows it’ll be a while until she’s alright. When he shows her the ring, a little gold band his mother used to wear, she smiles and he knows.

She died 3 years later along with a few hundred others around the world, a book in her left hand, her husband’s in her right. Her baby daughter started crying, and was taken outside by auntie Geraldine, to buy some cookies from the cafeteria, where they played with the old jigsaw of a donkey which only had half the pieces. Her husband had seen her wither away for 6 months, and as she smiled at him he felt at ease for the first time. And then she was gone.

Created: May 14, 2012


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