I told you about my dream and you said, “That’s nice.” Clearly, you had not listened to me. You used your fork to pick at the peas and ignored the casserole I had made. Eyes glued to your phone which sat next to your plate, in-between the salt and pepper, your hand hovered over the beer bottle to your right. Occasionally, a drop of condensation licked your finger, lovingly. You couldn’t bear to be unloved.
Scraping the remaining food into the bin, I inhaled deeply at the smell of rotting food below me – yesterday’s dinner and remnants from the kids’ lunchboxes. I gagged and inhaled again. Then I started to climb in. Brown juice seeping through my jeans, my leg plunged deeper into the sludge, cracking chicken bones as it reached the bottom. I balanced myself, then began to press my other foot in. Banana peel curled around my ankle, a spider monkey clinging to an unrotten branch. Wrappers sizzled as I pushed deeper. I eventually lost my balance. I fell to the floor, the contents of the bin escaping with me.
You finally turned to look at me, yelling expletives. Then you asked me why. So I told you my dream again and then you listened.
“I had a dream that I was in a different house with the kids, but it was a funeral. They eventually brought out the coffin. Everyone was crying. No one told me who was inside. I was screaming at the other guests to tell me. Then I noticed you sat on a bench, slightly out of view. You were on the phone laughing hysterically. So I opened the coffin and tried to climb in. I didn’t look to see what else was inside.”
Without saying a word, you helped me up and we cleaned the floor together.
Emily F S Walker is an emerging writer from York, UK, who has been recently published in Ellipsis Zine literary magazine. She will be starting a Creative Writing Masters next September and frequently contributes to her blog. She can also be found on Twitter at @EmFrances11
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