LXXV | Some Truth

You’re happier,


Asher says,
looking really pleased with himself.

I blush,

not meeting his eyes,

dipping my paintbrush
in grey paint.


What happened?


I highlight Tammie’s grey eyes,
remembering the triumphant


in her eyes

last night
when I screamed.

No one heard.

I turn to Asher
when he repeats himself

and I’m not so sure


I blush again.
He knows.

That’s the point.
According to Tammie.


You’re not allowed to tell.


So I just say,
I did what you suggested.
It worked.

He’s confused.

Brows furrowed,
biting his thumbnail.


He snaps his fingers.

A pause.




His hand
on my shoulder.

I jump,
heart racing

even though I haven’t

done anything wrong.




I turn to him,

paintbrush on palette
this time.

Left her a note.
She came to my room.
I apologised.

I smile at him.

It feels good
to smile now.

You’re right.

But his eyes flash with doubt.

He doesn’t smile back.
For some reason,

he frowns.

You’re not happy,
I point out.

The frown becomes a scowl.


Of course not.


I turn back to the painting.
None of my business.

I wasn’t happy for him either,
when we had sex

and he didn’t kill me.

I gave him
my virginity.

Of course I wouldn’t be happy about it.


His hands
wrap around mine.

Paintbrush is wrenched away.

I’m spun around
to face him.

My butt hurts
turning on the stool like that.

His face is close.
          too close.

I push him away.


She’s not real.


I throw the paintbrush at him.


What the hell?


He catches it.
Drops it on the black word.

Steps on it.

A snap
under his slippers.

His hands
are reaching
for me.

The stool falls over.


The girl you keep drawing…


I’m backing away.


Fiona, just listen first.


Tammie! I scream.

She has a name.
It’s Tammie.

His hands move
in what’s supposed to be

soothing movements.

The canvas falls.

So does the easel.

I pull at the curtain
hoping to rip it.

(Too thick.)


You were getting better.
You realised

she was gone.


I curse him.

He stops coming closer.
Hands hanging limp

by his sides.

I wrap the curtain
around my neck like a scarf.

I gave myself to the devil.


Don’t think about her.


I glare at him.

My vision gets blurry.

His hands
seize mine suddenly,

fast as lightning.

I can’t wriggle free.

He squeezes
until I cry out.


You have to listen to me, Fiona.
It’s the truth.

She’s not real.
What note? What apology?

She’s not here.


The curtain falls away.

‘She’s pole dancing, you bodo!’


She’s not!


His voice is just as harsh.

There are eyes
watching us.

The patients gather.

Gavin shakes his head
in my peripheral vision.

All their eyes on me.


It’s not real, but you’ll be okay.


Tammie stands there too,
wide eyed,


I’m shouting.

Her hands are trembling.
I can see them from here.

I become desperate.

I push him
with all my strength.

We both fall

because he’s holding me.

I fall with him.
When his hands
let me go

to cushion his descent,

I keep my hands
on his shoulders,

pushing him,

falling with him

into the overturned stool, easel,
splintered canvas.

Tammie’s eyes

laugh at me,

until blood obscures them.

He twitches.


I hold him still,
my limbs locked in place.

Stunned silence.

No, David’s
still whispering.


his hands grabs mine.




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