A short story

I didn’t get up until 11.41am.

The four blue numbers shame me into rising. I am tired. I went to bed at 5.30am. My skin is raw and white with long nights and I look pathetic in my dress, creased with sleep, from hours spent unconscious.

I shower in silence, burnt with steam that chokes me but I can’t find the effort or worth to turn down the dial. I dress quickly, I don’t like to be naked. Shame and sin sticks to me in the way it only can to women. He was wearing strong cologne and I can still taste it on my palms.

I find my worth in the only way I know how, mascara, lipstick, a comb, the odd necessities that create my value. I hate and am my face, my vanity, my youth.

They touch me, knees arms waist hips neck calves arms hands back, and their fingers leave but the invasion doesn’t. I say nothing. They touch as I would a doll, marvel at the sober soft girl in the garish underworld.

Are you surprised? I’m not. I’m niche, fresh meat, clipped tones and undyed hair. Sweet in a vulnerable way that makes me lost. I don’t sleep with them. I just sit and stand as they parade me through him and him and them and those who are someone, have been someone, will be someone. And then, slick with innocence, they request a hug or kiss goodbye or grope my thigh, and I feel their lips sweated sick with vodka on my hair, my neck, and everyone marvels at the new young thing, stumbled in, with the moths away from their wives.

And now I have absolved their sins in being tainted by their wandering hands. And I am unclean with the loss of memory of who or when and how my limbs remember finger prints

Are you surprised?

I’m not.

Written by

24 year old with an awful lot to say about everything. Opinions entirely my own. Usually. madelaine@madelainehanson.co.uk

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