A Story by livspen

And I said she was too skinny, always too skinny.

Even when she was eating a cream cake and smiling painfully.

She looked ever so nice in that red velvet dress, though, said mother. Oh, she did.

She did as well. It had an open back, and the shallow cut of her skin and her spine were exquisite between the folds of the material. The bend of her neck with her hair swept up into one caramel swirl. The way she held her thin arms.

But I always said she did.

Maybe another pair of ears around might have heard me. 

Oh no, she had a boyfriend and yes, I did not have a boyfriend. He came round with a single red rose and glittering brown eyes to pick her up and sweep her off while I sat and read Proust. I could see her through the window glass, see her shivering and he never offered her his jacket.

It was only embarrassment I felt when she came into my room and took things out of my wardrobe, threw them onto her frame and span round. An enormous beige cardigan, a gargantuan smock. She almost drowned in them.

And my friends who stood and smoked with me in the park would watch her go past, and say My God I’d kill for her figure you know. and I nodded and puffed my cigarette to keep warm. That’s all.

Forgot how similar our eyes were, oval and blue but dotted with grey. Photo albums strewn with our two round faces, heading out in wellies, little short legs, feeding the ducks. Nothing but the same, she would copy me, same ice cream on the beach, same pencil sharpener, same CDs, until she knew better.

And she knew it all, then.

I said it again and again. Mother frowned noncommittally and sometimes said something and sometimes did not. The rain tapped down the window as if trying to get our attention.

The radio went up when she forgot to finish her dinner. I smiled because I loved her, the loneliest girl in the world. The shimmering ghost.

Em needs to see someone. She won’t drink now.

And how can I live with this any more?

My eyes sting and flicker and there she is, beyond here, standing waiting for me on Christmas morning, our last Christmas morning. She looks like a little girl again. Pink spotted pajamas. Hair in plaits. White face blessed with one smile. About to call out my name. 

But she isn’t there when I open my eyes.

© 2010 livspen

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Added on October 3, 2010
Last Updated on October 3, 2010



Brighton, Sussex, United Kingdom

Im Liv. I'm from Brighton, England. I write, constantly. Enjoy. more..

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