A bit of first drafting – Anna Spargo-Ryan

A bit of first drafting

A bit of first drafting

I go to Malvern to meet with a couple from New Zealand. They’re both gorgeous. I feel plain and unpleasant. He is a builder and a rugby player. She works in marketing. They have a Rottweiler. Their rugby friends come around a lot, they tell me, and I am pretty fine with that.

It’s a Californian bungalow with thick walls and glossy floors. Behind the picket fence is a thicket of purple roses, twisted and thorny like a Brothers Grimm story. At its face is a wide verandah with dark caves formed by a curtain of wisteria.

Gaz calls me late at night and asks me if I’m sure I should move in.

“Is is the rugby guys? Is that why you want to move in there?”

“Why do you care?” I say, grateful that he does.

“I don’t.” You do.

“Well, okay then. Come and visit sometime.”

***

He comes to visit the next day. I don’t even have any furniture. We sit on the windowsill and eat fish and chips from a greasy bag. We drink vodka from the bottle and he pulls me close to him and I feel his lips against mine. He takes me to the mattress on the floor and I let him.

When I wake he is wrapped around me like a snake.

“I have to go to work,” he whispers, and the door clicks behind him.

It’s 4:30a.m. He doesn’t have to be at work for three hours.

***

I buy a three-piece outdoor setting and an ashtray and take my notebooks to the verandah. It smells like an underwear drawer.

In my notebooks I write letters to the baby.

Dear baby

None of the words are easy to write.

Dear baby,

You would be seven inches long now. I would probably be able to feel you moving. 

Your dad loved you, you know. He was just scared.

I feel my heart twisting in my ribcage as I lie to my dead foetus.

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