In Italy with Sean

I had a short piece of fiction published on Severine Lit.

In Italy, we were together every afternoon. I liked this even when he dominated me, said this is the way we look around a museum, we tend to have a nap at this time, and get on the bed and let me see you touching yourself. What else could I do? I couldn’t speak Italian, I didn’t know what foods were the correct ones to order.

In Italy, I was really beautiful, more beautiful than him. At a restaurant, on my last night there, I wore a dress that made him feel good about himself. It was a wrap dress, bright and revealing.  I knew it made him feel good about himself because when I put it on he told me. I reminded myself of my mother in Italy, wanting the holiday, capitulating to a man and of course being really beautiful.

Crying on My Birthday

I wrote about crying on my birthday for Oh Comely magazine’s 50th edition. Below is an extract:

I turned 29 this year and, on my birthday, planned to meet my boyfriend in the William Morris Gallery. When he got there though, strolling in confidently I imagine, he couldn’t find me. I had arrived before him and had been crying in the toilet, looking at my wet, red face in the mirror. You’re allowed to do this on your birthday.

When we did meet, I was glad to see him, pleased not to be alone. He asked me what was wrong and I said it was to do with my hair looking stupid and my new dress flapping too much in the wind. Later, the wrapping paper he had used for my present flew out of my hand and down the road, hot pink against the grey, March day. We decided to chase after it.

Once as a child my mum shouted at me on my birthday and made me cry. I can’t remember the exact reason why, instead I recall the cake, a special one I had admired beforehand in Sainsbury’s, decorated with thick, pink icing and girly sweets, as well as her cross face at the top of the stairs, white against her black hair. Later she told me that she had lost her temper because I was about to go to my dad’s house and spend the rest of my birthday there. Either that or she didn’t tell me and I worked it out myself.

Buy the magazine here.