When I turned myself inside out, smearing myself with the colour of my sadness, I did not know that it would stick to skin so readily, be so reluctant to slide back into the shadows.
You sat on the sofa, nonplussed. I perched, tackily, on a kitchen chair. You chose a film: The Blues Brothers. You’ve never lost your sense of humour. Our song came on. You turned up the volume so loud the walls vibrated. We danced.
You were six beers in, yelling along as if your lungs would burst and I should have spotted the signs but I was all at sea, riding the wild blue yonder as I skipped behind you, slap-padding cerulean footprints in time to the beat, watching rainbows form whorls in my welts. Salt water carved rivulets down my cobalt-contoured cheeks, skirting the scar created when I fumbled, fell. When we told that story.
At last, of course, the same old tango tangled but something in the slickness of my skin stopped you. I slipped through your fingers.
That night I lay downstairs, wrapped in towels: supine, stock-still, afraid of the marks my sadness may make.
Early next morning, I discovered white spirit. I wasn’t sure whether to douse or drink it.
You staggered downstairs, hovered in the hallway.
I scrubbed my outsides out, revealed the multi-coloured layers of our love.
You turned away, and in that moment, so, at last, did I.
Abi lives in Brighton and spends her time teaching, walking by the sea and making up stories. Her work has popped up in various places, including Splonk, Molotov and Ellipsis. She blogs sporadically at https://thinkingtwentythingsatonce.wordpress.com/ and tweets @abihennig