The evening yawns and pushes at the walls. I’m sitting at the foot of our bed, pretending to fiddle with the bronze-plait buckle of my left high heel that I don’t feel like wearing to a dinner party I don’t feel like attending. I listen as you tell me, once again, the story about your mate Ramon, from Spain, and his bird Martha. How they met, and how neat you think it is that they wear matching sweaters on Christmas over gingerbread and peppermint tea, holding tinseled gifts in their laps, and how you claim you want that too, except that you don’t. Sweaters are meant to keep children warm on wet winter days, you said last Autumn, if I remember right. Really I’m just hoping that you’ll stop chatting and fidgeting with your sleeve cuff long enough to notice that I’m stood with my back facing you, my bare back exposed from the dress I’ve purposefully left unzipped, hoping that you’ll sprint over to zip me up like you sprinted across the train station last December when we flew to the beaches of Montenegro and Martha came to greet us at the train station. Ramon wasn’t with her that day. You feigned sad to hear that he was delayed on a business trip, and would be home in a day or two if the weather let up in Oslo, but really it was just the advantage you’d been waiting for.

I didn’t know it at the time but I was a fool. You were in love with Martha. You had been long before that. Fuck, you’re still hot for her now.

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